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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Processing Technology
Project Period
2016 - 2017

The Challenge

Large volumes of potential lithium resource occurs across Western Australia in phyllosilicate minerals (micas), but standard mineral processing techniques cannot produce an economic mineral product from these resources.

Key Findings

An improved impurity separation process was developed for the processing of lithium from micas.

The effects of key parameters (acid neutralisation reagent, pH, seeding, redox potential) on the precipitation of impurities and transport of lithium through the process were established.

Options for enhancing processing economics including the production of potentially valuable by-products, production of lithium hydroxide from the purified leach liquor, and the recovery of important reagents were also investigated.

Benefit to WA

This project establishes a potential new value stream for Western Australia’s lithium miners. Re-treating of silicate materials to create a valuable lithium by-product could support the creation of jobs in this industry and the payment of mining royalties to the state.

Keywords: lithium, lepidolite, mica, leach, battery

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Page was last reviewed 17 June 2021

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