THE DRILL SERGEANT: Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) completed mineralogical testing, comprising semi-quantitative and quantitative x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, on samples of mineralised pegmatites and composite samples from the company’s Core, Central, and Sunnyside properties in North Carolina, USA.
Piedmont dais it has been advised that the relatively pure spodumene character of its ore body is unusual and highly positive, allowing for a simplified flowsheet to produce strong lithium recoveries.
A total of 36 samples of mineralised pegmatites were collected from Piedmont’s Core, Central, and Sunnyside properties.
The resulting data demonstrated the Piedmont ore body to not contain any petalite, lepidolite, or zinnwaldite – non-spodumene lithium bearing minerals concentrate under different operating conditions than spodumene when processing with dense medium or flotation.
The company explained that petalite (4.86% lithium dioxide (Li2O)) and lepidolite (7.7% Li2O) have lower lithium content than spodumene (8.03%).
Because the numbers are in its favour, Piedmont expects to maintain both high lithium concentrate grades and recoveries at the company’s planned concentrator in part due to the absence of petalite or other lithium bearing minerals.
“As the market’s understanding of lithium processing evolves, it will become increasingly clear that mineralogy and metallurgy are the fundamental building blocks of a successful hard-rock lithium business,” Piedmont Lithium president and CEO Keith D. Phillips said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Our testwork confirms what we have always suspected – the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt is exceptional not only in scale but in terms of mineralogy.
“When combined with the shallow nature of our ore body and the capital and operating cost advantages of our location, we are excited about the upcoming resource, metallurgical and scoping study updates.”