L-Max® is a low energy consumption hydro-metallurgical process which employs low cost, conventional reagents along with industry standard equipment. The process involves a saturation sulphuric acid leach of a lithium mica slurry at atmospheric pressure and modest temperature, followed by a series of impurity removal steps at progressively higher pH levels and the subsequent precipitation of lithium carbonate. The process contrasts with the far more energy intensive processing of spodumene concentrates, which requires high temperature calcination and roasting prior to hydro-metallurgical lithium recovery.
The patent registered L-Max® technology is owned 100% by Lepidico’s subsidiary Li-Technology Pty Ltd. It is protected by an International Patent Application and a granted Certification Report of Innovation Patent in Australia. These Applications have progressed to the national and regional phase in jurisdictions where L-Max® may be optimally and strategically deployed.
The attractions of L-Max® are numerous and complementary.
- Conventional: L-Max® utilises common use, inexpensive reagents, is energy efficient and utilises conventional equipment operated at atmospheric pressure and modest temperature
- By-products: include potassium sulphate fertiliser (SOP), amorphous silica and potentially tantalum, tin, caesium and rubidium
- Sustainable: steam is the only material L-Max® emission and the process residue is being evaluated as an environmental remediation product
- Scalable: scoping study for a full scale plant will contemplate output of 15,000t to 25,000t pa LCE
- Successful operation of the Phase 1 Plant will substantially eliminate the technical scale up risk to a full scale plant.
The results from several metallurgical test work programs demonstrate the viability of producing battery grade lithium carbonate and potassium containing fertiliser from the mica concentrate.
To find out more about the L-Max® process, please feel free to email us.