18/01/2017 - 07:04

Lithium Australia soars on new Lithium processing test success

18/01/2017 - 07:04


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Lithium Australia’s share price jumped 28% following the release of test results showing that their unique, low cost Lithium processing technology might actually work. The company was able to produce almost pure battery grade Lithium Carbonate in pilot plant tests in NSW and will now turn its attention to doing the same using ore from Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora project. 

Lithium Australia soars on new Lithium processing test success
Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin

Lithium Australia’s unique “Sileach” Lithium processing technology has proved its potential in a recent series of pilot tests in Sydney, sending the company’s share price soaring.

Shares in Lithium Australia closed at 20.5 cents yesterday, representing a 28% increase in its opening price the day before.

Yesterday’s rally is a continuation of a strong rally in Lithium Australia’s share price that began on the 6th of January when the company’s shares were trading at just 12.5 cents.

The latest rally appears to be evidence that the market is starting to understand the potential of Sileach, which the company claims can extract and process Lithium at about half the cost of conventional processes that rely on high-energy roasting of concentrates.

Sileach simply separates the Lithium concentrates via a series of chemical reactions, thus avoiding the need for roasting.

The success of Sileach has particularly significant implications for miners of Australian lithium, which typically comes from hard rock  or “pegmatite” sources, unlike the lithium brines and clays that dominate production in the rest of the world.

In a statement to the ASX, Lithium Australia reported recently that testing by ANSTO Minerals in NSW resulted in the production of battery-grade lithium carbonate at a purity that met or exceeded the specification of equivalent material produced by one of the world’s largest suppliers of lithium products, FMC Lithium.

The refined lithium carbonate produced by Sileach from lithium ore from Lepidolite Hill in WA assayed at more than 99.5% pure, and contained significantly less impurities than FMC Lithium product.

The statement said the “outstanding result” was very positive for the upcoming continuous Sileach pilot plant testing later this month of spodumene concentrates from Pilbara Minerals’ giant Pilgangoora project.

Lithium Australia and Pilbara Minerals last year entered an agreement to investigate the possibility of a 50/50 joint venture to add value to production from the Pilgangoora deposit by processing concentrates into value-added lithium chemicals of battery grade using Sileach.

Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin, said “The production of pure lithium carbonate puts Lithium Australia’s Sileach process in the hydrometallurgical limelight.”

“We have demonstrated the ability to process complex lithium ores, without the requirement of the traditional and expensive roasting step. We anticipate similar ground-breaking results with the production of lithium carbonate from Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora spodumene concentrates later this month.”


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