Cobre Montana producing steady-state lithium

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Cobre Montana (ASX: CXB) has started producing steady-state lithium carbonate from lithium based micas at Lepidolite Hill.

The company maintains continuous testing to be an important step in the development of its disruptive lithium production technology.

The new technology is based on recovery of lithium chemicals from micas, the most abundant lithium minerals.

Cobre Montana said the process needs to be extended beyond continuous testing and into commercial product evaluation to complete the commercialisation cycle.

This has commenced under the supervision of its partner Perth-based Strategic Metallurgy, using a custom designed mini-processing plant.

The company explained the mini-plant will be operated for approximately 10 days to produce enough lithium carbonate for the initial stages of its commercial product evaluation.

The concentrate feed has been produced from bulk samples collected from the Lepidolite Hill deposit, which forms part of the Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture (80% Cobre and 20% Focus Minerals (ASX: FML).

The lithium carbonate produced during the course of the mini-plant run, will be sent to end-users for evaluation and independent product endorsement.

“Our plan to commence production of lithium carbonate for commercial evaluation by the end of June has been fulfilled with carbonate now being produced on a steady-state basis,” Cobre Montana managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The ten day test will not only provide lithium carbonate for distribution to potential end-users but will also provide valuable process information for the design of larger test plants.

“The current program is a critical step towards commercializing disruptive technology for the production of lithium chemicals.

“A successful test run will demonstrate the ability to process the most common lithium minerals, the micas, on a continuous basis.”

Cobre Montana also gave notice it is to change its name to Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) subject to shareholder approval at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday 15 July 2015.