Cobre Montana has made significant progress towards its aspirations to become Australia’s newest lithium producer. The company has forged a number of strategic partnerships to further its plan to capitalize on its widening ability to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from lithium-bearing mica minerals, principally from deposits in Western Australia.
The significance of being able to process such materials as feed for the lithium chemical industry, batteries in particular, is supported by the exclusive nature of Cobre Montana’s new licensing arrangements, where the company now has 25-year access and rights to the only known technology able to process and recover lithium from micas. These unique opportunities include IP rights.
The technology is a company-making step-change from past processing difficulties where lithium micas have been avoided or have been discarded in mining and processing operations.
Application of the technology, developed by Perth-based Strategic Metallurgy, and now licenced exclusively to Cobre Montana, has the ability to make available:
- Lithium mica in deposits not previously considered ore
- Lithium micas in dumps and tailings dams
- Lithium micas in waste materials currently being discharged
Strategic partnerships developed by Cobre Montana include a technology support agreement, exclusive licence agreements, Ravensthorpe option agreement, Coolgardie rare metals venture, Seabrook rare metals venture and Pilbara Minerals MoU.
The exclusive nature of Cobre Montana’s access to processing licences potentially mitigates the effects of competition on a global basis. Nowhere is that more important than in the company’s domicile of Western Australia. This situation has provided the opportunity to partner with Pilbara Minerals on target lepidolite-style deposits at the Pilgangoora project near Port Hedland in the state’s Pilbara region.
Cobre Montana is also assessing opportunities to capitalize on the use of its lithium extraction technology rights in locations outside Australia.