Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) announced it has submitted a Program of Works for approval by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum.
The PoW pertains to Lepidolite Hill which is part of the Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture (80% LIT and 20% Focus Minerals Limited [ASX: FML]) the location of which is shown in Figure 1. The approval is a precursor to recovering about 1,500t of lepidolite for further metallurgical testing.
LIT plans to undertake larger scale pilot testing of lithium micas later in 2016 using L-Max technology exclusively licensed to LIT in Western Australia and the Cinovec project in the Czech Republic. L-Max has been specifically developed to recover lithium, in the form of lithium carbonate, from lithium micas.
Material recovered from the Lepidolite Hill bulk sampling program is likely to be included in the pilot plant feed. LIT has commenced discussions with metallurgical laboratories to ensure plant and equipment are available to undertake the program when required.
LIT continues to evaluate improvements to processing technologies for application to other silicate minerals, including clays and spodumene.
Lithium Australia Managing Director, Mr Adrian Griffin stated:
The bulk sampling will provide a significant supply of material for further testing. Pilot testing is part of the process of de-risking the flowsheet and will generate data required for further feasibility studies. We are keen to reach this stage of development as soon as practical as pilot testing will further demonstrate the veracity of the process. This is part of the rigour required for project financing and we need to be able to take that step when required.