What is Petalite?
- Novo Lítio’s Sepeda Lithium Project in Portugal is pre-dominantly petalite-hosted, with some minor spodumene, and virtually no lithium micas. Novo Lítio’s Swedish exploration projects are thought to be spodumene-dominant.
- Petalite is a lithium aluminium silicate similar to spodumene, which studies have shown can be processed via conventional, commercially-proven methods.
- This means that petalite and spodumene deposits have a lower development and/or environmental risks than unconventional lithium sources such as lepidolite/zinnwaldite (lithium mica) or clay-hosted deposits, the former of which contains flourine
- Interim metallurgical testwork results indicate an ultra-low impurity petalite concentrate, grading 4.4% Li2O and 0.01% Fe2O3, can be produced from Sepeda material
- This meets Technical Grade lithium concentrate specifications, which command a premium over Chemical Grade products due to their low impurities
- Technical Grade (TG) lithium mineral concentrates are priced at 70-80% of the 99.5% lithium carbonate (40% Li2O) equivalent (LCE) price. At a long-term average forecast price of US$10,000/t LCE this equates to US$750-800 per tonne of 4.4%Li2O petalite delivered to the customer
- This compares with Chemical Grade (CG) lithium mineral concentrates (generally spodumene), with higher iron and other impurities, which are generally sold for further processing and purification to lithium carbonate at a discount to Technical Grade
- Battery-grade lithium carbonate/hydroxide produced using conventional, commercially-proven “off-the-shelf” technologies, from testwork at Anzaplan in Germany on material for Sepeda
- Potential for flexibility - dual product stream: a) Technical Grade lithium concentrate and b) Battery Grade lithium carbonate. Demonstration plant to produce large samples for potential offtake customers in Q3 2017