Lepidico makes progress in lithium chemicals

Lithium chemicals company Lepidico (ASX: LPD) has successfully produced lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LOH) suitable for battery production from its Perth pilot plant operation (pictured).

The results were achieved in a batch trial of Lepidico’s proprietary LOH-Max process, with impurity levels comparable to lithium produced using conventional methods.

Purities of greater than 56.5 per cent LOH were achieved which is the equivalent of a nominal battery grade reference purity.

Results from the trial will be incorporated in the design for the company’s proposed phase 1 L-Max Plant which is intended to produce more than 2,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate annually.

Lepidico managing director Joe Walsh said the trials endorsed the company’s process.

“(It) represents an alternative final step in the conventional conversion of spodumene concentrates, without the generation of costly and potentially problematic sodium sulphate.”

The company’s pilot plant cost $3 million to build and $1.5 million has been budgeted for its operation.

Concentrate feed for the pilot plant is being sourced from the Alvarrões Lepidolite Mine in Portugal and one other deposit.

Lepidico is now producing product for testing by prospective customers.

Its process involves the production of an initial crude lithium hydroxide followed by refining into a high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate.

Picture: Lepidico

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