Maricunga Lithium Brine Project Process Testing Update
- Engagement of internationally renowned companies GEA and Veolia appointed to finalise a process flowsheet for the final production of battery-grade lithium carbonate.
- Maiden JORC resource pending.
Maricunga Project - Process Testing
Initial positive results include the preliminary concentration of brine from trial evaporation ponds at our camp site. The Maricunga JV is currently working with two leading suppliers and service providers in the lithium space, Veolia and GEA. The background on these companies are detailed below.
Process studies to finalise a process flowsheet for the final production of lithium carbonate have been ongoing since late 2016. Initial positive results include the preliminary concentration of brine from trial evaporation ponds. Lithium-rich brine from the project is undergoing further processing to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate.
Lithium Power International's Chief Executive Officer, Martin Holland, commented:
"Working with tier 1 companies such as Veolia and GEA on our process testing and development shows the confidence and merits of the Maricunga project. We are pleased with the progress to date on our development timeline. The Maricunga project activities continue to progress well, with the company's maiden JORC resource to be released shortly. The delivery timing change, from the May 2017 guidance, is due to the extended turnaround on the final porosity results from the USA laboratory, which is a critical part of defining the updated resource. In addition, as part of LPI's ongoing evaluation of the project, and thorough risk mitigation measures, the company has appointed SRK Consulting to complete an internal independent expert audit of the resource estimation".
Veolia Environment S.A., or Veolia, is a French transnational company with service offerings in the fields of water management, waste management, public transport and energy services. The company operates in 48 countries and headquartered in Paris, France. Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Paris (EPA:VIE) and New York Stock Exchange (OTCMKTS:VEOEY) with a market capitalization of US$12 billion. Veolia is a significant partner in the lithium space, offering processing solutions and equipment for everything from evaporation, impurity removal, brine concentration, by-product recovery, and lithium precipitation, purification and crystallization. Their project capabilities range from designing, building, operation, maintenance and project execution. Veolia's equipment and services have been deployed in a number of lithium brine operations throughout Chile and Argentina.
GEA Group AG, or GEA, is a global equipment and process technology provider over a wide range of industries. The company is headquartered Dusseldorf, Germany and trades on the Frankfurt exchange (FRA:G1A) with a market capitalization of EUR7 billion. Within the lithium space, GEA Technologies provides solutions spanning the entire production chain for lithium: evaporation, crystallization and drying technologies that are key to producing lithium from brine concentrates or from spodumene. Their project capabilities span engineering design, manufacturing and commissioning of the key process equipment. GEA's offerings have been used in a number of lithium projects around the world and was most recently selected a supplier to process Tianqi Lithium's production from the Greenbushes mine in Australia. The Greenbushes mine is owned by Tianqi Lithium (SHE:002466) and Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), and produces about 30% of the world's lithium supply.
Maricunga JV Background
The Maricunga lithium brine project is regarded as one of the highest quality undeveloped preproduction lithium brine project globally, with a very high lithium grade and strong flow rates. The company continues to advance towards a new JORC compliant resource estimate in 1H17, based on results of the drilling & pump testing program, with the project progressing to a Pre-Feasibility study in December 2017.
About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) is a pure-play lithium explorer and developer, focusing on developing and fast-tracking to production the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
LPI has a well-known performing technical team with the experience to take the Maricunga project all the way through the development stages to production.
The regions that LPI is currently focused on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – Located within the "Lithium Triangle", Maricunga is Chile's highest grade and most advanced lithium project outside the Salar de Atacama. The project lies 170 km northeast of Copiapo and 250 km from the port of Caldera.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has three granted exploration tenements covering 203 km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is the Pilgangoora tenement which is 2-3 km west of the Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) lithium deposits.
3. Greenbushes (Western Australia) – LPI has two granted exploration tenements covering 400 km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world's largest hard rock lithium mine owned and operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) – Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of seven granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the seven granted tenements cover an area of 68.46 km2.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenements).
Veolia Environment S.A.
Tianqi Lithium Industries, Inc.
Lithium Power International Ltd
GEA Group AG