Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) has started the next phase of metallurgical tests to evaluate dense medium separation (DMS), flowsheet optimisation and ore variability utilising ore from the company’s US lithium project.
This work is being carried out at SGS Canada’s facilities in Lakefield, Ontario, and is using composite and variability samples collected from drill cores.
These were produced during the company’s phase II and phase III drill campaigns at the Piedmont Lithium Project within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt in North Carolina.
President and CEO Keith D Phillips said, “We are pleased to be working with SGS Lakefield on the next phase of our metallurgical testing.
“SGS is a global leader with extensive experience in the field of spodumene concentrate test work.”
The planned test work builds on the success of 2018 bench-scale test work which demonstrated spodumene concentrate grades of 6.0-6.5% lithium oxide with low iron content of 0.66-0.76% Fe2O3.
DMS technology to be evaluated
These tests will include evaluation of DMS technology’s potential to function as a pre-concentration step to production of high-quality spodumene concentrate.
Locked-cycle flotation tests will also be carried out on composite and variable samples to verify prior test work and estimate spodumene recoveries.
Spodumene concentrator planned
Results will be used to further optimise the process flow diagram during the next phases of technical study of the company’s planned spodumene concentrator.
They will also be used to design a pilot test work program planned for the second half of 2019. Piedmont is planning additional by-product testing in the second half of 2019.
The company has also appointed and renewed engineers and consultants to support it in areas of environmental study, permitting, metallurgy, mining engineering, exploration and land acquisition.
This comes as the company’s project team focuses on a construction decision by the end of 2019.
Phillips added: “We are also pleased to announce the appointments of several additional consultants experienced in areas critical to our success.
“Our phase IV drill campaign is going very well, and we look forward to reflecting this in important engineering studies over the course of 2019.”
The appointments and renewals include Primero Group, Marshall Miller and Associates, HDR Engineering, CSA Global, Logan Drilling, SGS Canada, Deep Earth Logic, Ameriland and Pace Labs.