Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) has produced 120 kilograms of spodumene concentrate from core samples collected from its Piedmont Lithium Project within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt of the USA.
These samples have now been used in the bench-scale lithium hydroxide test work program, with results expected in June 2020.
Concentrate qualities and recoveries from the combined dense media separation (DMS) and locked-cycle flotation test-work were a spodumene concentrate of 6.21% lithium oxide and 0.87% iron oxide at a recovery rate of 82.4%.
Overall, the test-work program produced 122 kilograms of spodumene concentrate including 105 kilograms of DMS product and 17 kilograms of flotation product.
Piedmont president and chief executive officer Keith Phillips said: “Our lithium hydroxide test-work program continues at SGS and is based on the high-quality, low impurity spodumene concentrate prepared from a 1.75-tonne representative ore sample from Piedmont’s Core property.
“By-product test work is also continuing, and after positive initial customer feedback we have received from prospective quartz customers, we are beginning to evaluate the opportunity to expand our planned by-product production, potentially further lowering our spodumene concentrate costs.”
Along with lithium oxide and iron oxide, by-product quartz samples included silica, aluminium oxide, potassium oxide, sodium oxide, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, manganese oxide and phosphorus pentoxide.
The samples met solar glass customer specifications, receiving positive initial feedback.
Larger follow-up samples with optimized particle size distribution are planned.
Confidential customer discussions are ongoing through the company’s marketing partnership with Ion Carbon, a division of AMCI.
During this quarter, samples of quartz, feldspar and mica will be delivered to other potential clients.
DMS and locked-cycle spodumene flotation test work flowsheets.
Based on the results and dialogue with by-product customers, the company will now complete a trade-off study of mica pre-flotation to enhance spodumene concentrate grade and recovery during the definitive feasibility study.
It will also investigate additional by-product potential via reprocessing of DMS float product for additional quartz and feldspar potential, as well as producing optimised particle size distribution samples of quartz concentrate to key client accounts.
The chemical plant pre-feasibility study and updated integrated scoping study for the project are expected to be released in May 2020.