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Lithium Australia to turn waste into commercial lithium product

The company continues to test its 100%-owned SiLeach® processing technology.
circle flow diagram showing lithium mining through to end product
Processing material from the Waste2 deposit could produce a higher value end product

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) specialises in the process development of waste materials such as lithium micas, which it has access to in both Western Australia and Germany.

The company has identified multiple lithium mica feed sources for a new large-scale pilot plant (LSPP).

To date, substantial bench-scale and pilot plant trial test work has been undertaken on the 80%-owned Lepidolite Hill deposit in Western Australia.

However, far less test work has been undertaken at a second deposit designated Waste2.

Waste2 deposit to be used as feed

Tests have shown that the metallurgical characteristics of concentrates produced from Waste2 vary from those of other micas tested.

This is due to the material have higher ratios of muscovite and lepidolite.

READ: Lithium Australia subsidiary producing lithium-ion cathode material for battery market

Lithium Australia’s managing director Adrian Griffin said: “Lithium Australia continues its war on waste.

“In processing the Waste2 material, we will clearly demonstrate that we can take the particular waste provided, run it through the SiLeach® pilot plant and create a commercial lithium chemical.”

The pilot plant run is due to commence in early August and the aim is to produce lithium products to commercial specifications.

A vertically integrated strategy, from waste to battery material

Griffin added: “But that's only step II in ascending the value chain. Subsequently, the lithium chemical will be sent from Lucas Heights to our VSPC Brisbane plant for processing into battery cathode material.

“The cathode powder will then be tested at VSPC's in-house battery testing facility. We hope to report on its performance with respect to battery applications in coming months.”

The LSPP front-end engineering and design (FEED) study nearing completion, anticipated in the September quarter 2018.

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