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Framework released to assist in lithium exploration in WA

14th April 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) have released a new technical framework that could assist in optimising the development of potential lithium orebodies.

 

Led by Curtin University's John de Laeter Centre, a systematic comparative study was undertaken of key lithium orebodies across Western Australia, and the report is expected to be an important resource to assist industry professionals identify factors influencing the recovery of different ore types in the pegmatite fields studied.

 

Building on this foundation project, further work is already underway at Curtin University and Murdoch University as part of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre to develop techniques for provenance testing to establish a trusted supply chain for battery minerals and materials and investigate improvements in the beneficiation and chemical processing of lithium minerals.  

“Despite over a century of resource development experience in Western Australia, the onshore processing of hard rock lithium deposits is a relatively new industry,” said Professor Brent McInnes, director of the John de Laeter Centre at Curtin University.

“This project has shed light on Western Australia lithium deposits and provides a new geometallurgical framework applicable to mining and processing optimisation.”

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said on Friday that the government was committed to further developing a chemical industry in Western Australia.

“While I was in South Korea and Japan recently, keen interest was shown in understanding the lithium resources here in Western Australia. Given this interest in Western Australian critical minerals, companies will be able to use this information to understand the orebodies and consider preferred downstream processing options,” he added.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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