Lithium Australia seeks approval for Lepidolite Hill bulk sampling program

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has submitted a Program of Works (PoW) for approval by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, in regards to Lepidolite Hill, which is part of the Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture with Foucus Minerals (ASX: FML) (80% LIT and 20% FML).

On gaining approval, the JV intends recovering about 1,500 tonnes of lepidolite for further metallurgical testing.

Lithium Australia signalled it plans to undertake larger scale pilot testing of lithium micas later in 2016 using its 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.

Lithium Australia has commenced discussions with metallurgical laboratories to ensure plant and equipment are available to undertake the program when required.

“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,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“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.”