Research & Development
MétAmpère have invested heavily in metallurgical testwork and process design and are world leaders in recovery of lithium from micas, such as those we have discovered in Cornwall. Our work on lithium micas began in 2014 and on Cornish micas in 2016, and continues today at our sample preparation laboratory in Roche, Cornwall and at our technology partner’s laboratory in Perth, Western Australia.
To compete with spodumene, production of lithium from micas requires an unique and efficient physical beneficiation process to produce a concentrate with high recovery followed by environmentally friendly alkaline leach and purification. There are currently no refiners globally who can process Zinnwaldite concentrate, and so a complete plant from mine, to beneficiation, to refining will be needed in Cornwall.
MétAmpère’s engineers have successfully beneficiated Cornish micas using our unique process to produce a +4% Li Lithium concentrate with recovery over 90%. Note that the grade achieved was higher than the theoretical maximum possible. We have also conducted numerous roast trials producing near battery grade lithium carbonate. Successful metallurgical research and process development is critical to demonstrating the potential for economic recovery of Lithium in Cornwall and much remains to be done.