Lepidico has commenced a Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) on a small scale, commercially viable L-Max® plant, which is the next key step in commercialisation of the L-Max® technology.
The objective of the PFS is to design a Phase 1 L-Max® Plant at sufficient scale to be economically viable at a lithium carbonate price of US$8,000/t and to prove that L-Max® is technically robust under commercial operating conditions. Work undertaken to develop the scope for the PFS has set the following indicative parameters for the Phase 1 L-Max® plant:
|Throughput Rate||2-4tph (17k to 35k tpa) mica concentrate|
|Mica Concentrate Feed Grade||1.2% to 1.5% Li (2.6% to 3.5% Li2O)|
|Lithium Carbonate Operating Parameters||2,000-3,000tpa|
|Potential By-products||Potassium sulphate fertiliser
The PFS is being lead by Engineering consultant Minmet Services Pty Ltd and Strategic Metallurgy Pty Ltd, who were instrumental in the development of L-Max®. The PFS will explore a number of items including:
- Potential ore supplies
- Potential plant location
- Lithium and by-product markets
- Permitting considerations
Expected completion of the PFS will be Q1 2017. Upon completion of the PFS, Lepidico will seek to transition straight into a Feasibility Study as it aims to become a lithium producer by 2019.