- August 7, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
RESULTS of test work undertaken on lithium from Zimbabwe’s Arcadia Mine have confirmed lithium-to-iron ratios suitable for the premium glass and ceramics market.
This makes Arcadia the only mine in the world able to supply both spodumene and petalite to the glass and ceramics market.
The results were confirmed by a petalite and spodumene sample test process in Germany called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP).
Spodumene is an aluminium silicate mineral worked as lithium ore and processed into different grades for use in ceramics, glass, batteries, steel, fluxing agents and medicine.
Similarly, petalite is a lithium ore with high thermal resistance, making it one of the best additives for glass and ceramics manufacturing. Petalite is also unique as the product is suitable for white and transparent products due to its low iron content.
There are few mines in the world able to supply the premium priced, ultra-low iron, technical market for spodumene or petalite.
Arcadia is the most advanced project out of a handful of developing lithium projects in Zimbabwe.
Currently the country has a single producing mine, Bikita Minerals in Masvingo.
Lithium has been designated by Government as one of key and strategic minerals for its target and ongoing efforts to grow mineral exports from about US $3.4 billion annually to US$12 billion by 2023.
Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) listed Prospect Resources said the suitability of the Arcadia Mine to supply both products to this coveted market is a win for the firm.
This not only places Arcadia’s spodumene as a premium product for the chemical market, but presents an opportunity to sell an ultra-low iron spodumene and petalite blended product into the glass and ceramics market in Europe.
Prospect said it expects this blended product will achieve a premium price in the market because the miner can design the blend for each customer depending on their required lithium to iron ratio and therefore supply a finished product.
Prospect managing director, Sam Hosack, said the ability to produce technical grade ultra-low iron blended product of Arcadia spodumene and petalite, had the potential to deliver a fit for purpose lithium product for glass ceramics customers and achieve higher sales prices across Arcadia’s lithium products.
Prospect Resources Limited is an ASX listed lithium company based in Perth with operations and exploration activities in Zimbabwe.
Its flagship project is the Arcadia Lithium Project located on the outskirts of Harare. The Arcadia Lithium Project represents a globally significant hard rock lithium resource being rapidly developed by Prospect.
Lithium is a soft silvery-white metal which is highly reactive and does not occur in nature in its elemental form. In nature it occurs as compounds within hard rock deposits (such as Arcadia) and salt brines.
Lithium and its chemical compounds have a wide range of industrial applications resulting in the mineral’s numerous or wide range chemical and technical uses_BusinessWeekly