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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Mineral Systems
Project Period
2020 - 2022

The Challenge

Western Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium, however development of these complex deposits has only recently become economic due to the growth in demand for lithium in battery electric vehicles. Optimising the value of this emerging industry begins with a geometallurgical understanding of each unique orebody. 

The Solution

Australia’s hard-rock lithium resource inventory was emplaced during a narrow window of geological time (2630-2640 Myr).   

A higher degree of mineralogical and geochemical variability in lithium deposits exists than previously thought, making the ore body knowledge and geometallurgical data critical factors in optimizing the economics of lithium mining operations in Western Australia. 

Benefit to WA

Despite over a century of resource development experience in Western Australia, the downstream processing of hard rock lithium deposits is a relatively new industry. This project has shed light on Western Australia lithium deposits, and provides a new geometallurgical framework applicable to mining and processing optimisation.

Keywords: deportment, LCT pegmatite, lithium

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Page was last reviewed 16 August 2023

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