Currently, the majority of the world’s lithium production is extracted from either brines or hard rock spodumene. However, there also exists other minerals that contain significant lithium mineralisation. These include the lithium bearing micas and associated lithium minerals such as lepidolite and zinnwaldite.
Lithium micas are abundant across the world, but are typically not explored for and have been deemed somewhat “worthless” as effective processing methods have not been available to extract lithium chemicals.
With L-Max as a key to potentially unlocking the value in these lithium micas, Lepidico’s exploration strategy is to target lithium mica deposits that could be developed as commercial projects.
With the use of its L-Max technology, Lepidico is seeking to unlock the potential value of such lithium bearing micas. Lepidico is actively exploring opportunities to apply L-Max directly to:
Brownfields Projects: There are existing mining projects around the world that currently have lithium bearing micas being passed through to waste dumps or tailings dams. Lithium bearing micas which are not recovered, but instead remain un-mined, and / or report to waste dumps or tailings dams can be effectively concentrated by flotation, which would allow the L-Max process to be utilised to produce lithium products (and other by-products) from a source that has previously been deemed to be of no value.
Greenfields Projects: There has been limited exploration to date relating to identifying deposits of lithium bearing micas. These micas typically occur in pegmatites (coarse grained granites), often in association with other lithium, tin or tantalum containing ores.