Lepidico provides exposure to a portfolio of lithium assets via its proprietary IP and upstream interests in Australia, Canada and Europe. Uniquely, it has produced lithium carbonate from non-traditional hard rock lithium bearing minerals using its registered L-Max process technology.
Lepidico’s L-Max® technology (now granted US patent protection) recovers lithium economically from less contested mica minerals such as lepidolite. The process has been shown to work stably in continuous operation in large-scale lab tests and a 2017 PFS estimated C1 cash costs of lithium carbonate production near zero net of by-products for a 3ktpa operation. Engineered design for a larger 7tph (or 5ktpa LCE) plant is underway as part of a feasibility study (scheduled for completion in Q1 CY20). In the meantime, initial results from a pilot plant have confirmed L-Max process viability and product and by-product quality.
In February, LPD acquired the rights to LOH-Max technology to produce lithium hydroxide at both reduced capex and opex. Since then, it has announced the (value accretive) acquisition of the Karibib Lithium Project in Namibia via the off-market takeover of Desert Lion Energy and an alliance with Gulf Fluor for the supply of sulphuric acid. Together, these caused us to increase our valuation of the company to A$0.0692/share, based solely on a 7tph Phase 1 plant.