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Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant

Lepidico is hoping to eliminate waste storage, and storage costs, associated with a planned stage-one version of its L-Max lithium processing plant at a site in Sudbury, Ontario. The ASX-listed company (LPD) wants to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of its process for extracting lithium and other products from mica ores such as lepidolite and zinnwaldite.
Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant Lepidico eyes waste-free Sudbury plant

ASX-listed Lepidico is looking to demonstrate its L-Max technology in a plant at Sudbury, Ontario

Staff reporter

The junior said in its latest quarterly report Knight Piésold had started residue characterisation work and engineering activity meanwhile continued on a residue storage facility.

But it was also working with the consultant and the City of Greater Sudbury to investigate possible commercial uses for benign L-Max residue which could lead to site residue storage being eliminated.

A "zero waste" first-phase facility would result in "further capital and operating cost savings".

Lepidico, which said it had A$4.9 million cash and no debt at the end of June, aims to complete a feasibility study on a 5,000 tonnes per annum L-Max plant in the first quarter of 2019. The company says the 100%-owned technology has the potential to place it "at the forefront of the lithium industry". It is aiming for first production in calendar 2020.

"Baseline environmental studies at the preferred location for the Phase 1 plant near Sudbury remain on schedule for completion in 2018," Lepidico said.

"Confidentiality regimes have been entered into with various industry participants for the quality assessment and marketability of the main L-Max products.

"Product samples of the highest possible purity will continue to be generated during the second half of 2018 for third party evaluation.

"Scoping study works for a full-scale L-Max plant, built in 10,000tpa modules, has commenced."

Lepidico has also filed a patent application for its S-Max hydrometallurgical process, developed with L-Max inventor Strategic Metallurgy, which can produce amorphous silica from lithium mica and other mica mineral concentrates. It said the purified silica might be sold directly or used as a feed to produce other marketable silica products.

"Importantly, S-Max can be integrated with … L-Max for production of lithium carbonate and a suite of other by-products, including sulphate of potash (SOP) fertiliser, sodium sulphate, and potentially caesium/rubidium and tantalum compounds," the company said.

Lepidico started Monday trading at A3.3c, less than half its January 2018 trading levels around 8c. It has a current market value of A$96.4 million (US$71.4 million).