European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) said it has begun the beneficiation process and magnetic separation of a 15 tonne bulk sample of ore from its Cinovec Lithium/Tin project in the Czech Republic.
The AIM-listed miner said the process would produce a lithium rich concentrate which would provide pilot plant feed for planned downstream processing through the roast, leach, purification and final product precipitation flowsheet that has been developed.
Beneficiation is any process in mining that improves (benefits) the economic value of ore by removing invaluable material and increasing the product grade.
The process is intended to produce up to 200kg of battery grade lithium carbonate from the material for marketing and user acceptance purposes.
The group added that the process would also provide around 12 tonnes of non-magnetic material that would be used to confirm the flowsheet for the recovery of tin and tungsten values which were “unique and important by-products” from the Cinovec ore body.
The programme of work is being carried out by UVR-FIA GmbH in Freiberg, Germany, who are specialists in beneficiation and magnetic separation.
Keith Coughlan, managing director of European Metals, said: "The commencement of the processing of the bulk sample to provide concentrate feed for the lithium carbonate pilot plant is a significant step for European Metals. The pilot plant operation is not only a significant activity of the feasibility study, it also allows the production of lithium carbonate for end-user trials and associated off-take arrangements.
He added: “Our on-going roast optimisation testwork is almost complete and will form the basis of the upcoming lock-cycle pilot testwork. The optimisation work continues to improve recoveries and reduce input costs and I look forward to updating the market in the near term on these developments and their potential positive impacts on the Cinovec Project."