Cornish Lithium has been evaluating the possibility of extracting lithium from a recently operational china clay pit at Trelavour Downs
Cornish Lithium Ltd., the innovative mineral exploration and development company based in Cornwall, UK, is pleased to announce that the Company will now accelerate the Trelavour hard rock lithium project near St Austell following the successful production of nominal battery-grade lithium hydroxide. This was achieved using Australian Stock Exchange listed Lepidico Ltd’s (“Lepidico”) (ASX:LPD) proprietary L-Max® and LOH-Max® process technologies on lithium mica samples obtained during its maiden hard rock lithium drilling programme within an existing china clay open pit earlier this year.
The Company has now acquired a technology licence from Lepidico which provides Cornish Lithium with an innovative and environmentally responsible metallurgical processing solution for the Trelavour project. Cornish Lithium can now proceed immediately towards bulk metallurgical testing and the construction of a pilot plant using Lepidico’s proprietary L-Max® and LOH-Max® technologies.
The Company believes that this work will accelerate domestic production of battery quality lithium chemicals for the UK automotive and battery industry as well as generating a significant number of skilled jobs in the St Austell area of Cornwall. The licence to the L-Max® and LOH-Max® technologies will allow development of the low-carbon extraction of lithium from zinnwaldite and polylithionite mica ores in the St Austell region. Work so far has indicated the potential of this technology to produce battery-grade lithium in Cornwall without the need for further refining, thus offering a complete on-site solution. The licence is exclusive to Cornish Lithium and covers the entire St Austell Granite region, an area of approximately 93km2. Importantly, Cornish Lithium has also entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Lepidico to further develop the L-Max® and LOH-Max® technologies for lithium extraction from zinnwaldite and polylithionite mica mineralisation from the St Austell region of Cornwall.
Jeremy Wrathall, Founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium, said:
“We are delighted to have acquired a licence from Lepidico that enables Cornish Lithium to fast track the hard rock Trelavour project towards commercial production of high purity lithium chemicals for the UK battery industry. We look forward to active collaboration with Lepidico and to optimising their processes for zinnwaldite and polylithionite mica ores in Cornwall.
“The next phase of work, which will shortly commence at Trelavour, will run in parallel with studies which continue to advance the Company’s lithium in geothermal waters projects across Cornwall. In particular, the forthcoming construction of the lithium pilot plant at United Downs, will enable the Company to trial Direct Lithium Extraction technology at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project together with partners Geothermal Engineering Ltd.
“Importantly, Lepidico’s technologies are in keeping with Cornish Lithium’s desire to produce lithium in an environmentally friendly, low carbon manner given their ability to directly leach lithium bearing mica minerals at atmospheric pressure. The L-Max® and LOH-Max® technologies thus have excellent environmental and sustainability credentials. When combined with the fact that the Trelavour project is within an existing china clay open pit, we believe this represents a truly low-impact and environmentally responsible route to commercial production of lithium within the UK.”
Joe Walsh, Managing Director of Lepidico Ltd, said:
“Lepidico is delighted that Cornish Lithium has chosen to purchase a licence for use of our L-Max® and LOH-Max® technologies to extract lithium and other valuable by-products from zinnwaldite and polylithionite mineralisation sourced from the St Austell region of Cornwall. We look forward to advancing our collaboration with Cornish Lithium, with the objective of commercialising our process technologies on a broader suite of lithium mica minerals. Recent tests conducted for Cornish Lithium at the Strategic Metallurgy laboratory in Perth, Australia returned encouraging results that continue to demonstrate the potential to produce high purity lithium chemicals and other strategic metal compounds using our technologies.”
Cornish Lithium has been evaluating the possibility of extracting lithium from a recently operational china clay pit at Trelavour Downs in the St Austell area for the last two years, including the completion of a 41-hole drilling programme in 2020 and extensive metallurgical testing.
Process testing has been conducted at local laboratories in Cornwall and has also taken place using Lepidico’s technologies at the Strategic Metallurgy Laboratory in Australia. This work has been carefully monitored and overseen on behalf of Cornish Lithium by consultant metallurgists Lifezone Limited. The results of such testing have been highly encouraging, hence the decision to purchase a licence and to move towards full-scale pilot testing.
Source: Company Press Release