By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWEAN lithium company, Prospect Resources, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, says its ultra-low iron petalite product has progressed through the secondary qualification process with one of the world’s largest glass-ceramic manufacturers, based in Europe.
Within the glass-ceramics market, ultra-low iron petalite is a key ingredient in the manufacture of dark glass. It is used in the glass and ceramics industry, for example in the production of glass-ceramics cooktops.
Prospect Resources executive chairman, Hugh Warner on Monday said the current results from analysis shows the samples are of a much higher quality.
“Our ultra-low iron petalite product has progressed through the secondary qualification process with one of the world’s largest glass-ceramic manufacturers, based in Europe.
“The outcome from their analysis is that the ultra-low iron petalite surpasses the glass ceramic market’s stringent ultra-low iron and alkali technical specifications,” he said.
The final test results of the product’s qualification is expected to be undertaken in 2020, once the pilot plant is constructed and larger volume of product is available.
Warner also said Prospect is in discussions with an additional industry leading glass ceramic producer based in Europe with a view to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding where both parties seek to develop a commercial relationship.
“Prospect is currently engaging with glass and ceramics customers across Europe, Asia and Africa who collectively, consume over 130,000 tpa equivalent of ultra-low iron petalite. Prospect’s ability to consistently produce approx. 100,000tpa of ultra-low iron petalite product, over its 15.5 year Life-of-Mine, is a key attraction from customers,” he said.
Prospect anticipates being one of only two mines in the world capable of producing ultra-low iron petalite and we expect to be the largest player in this natural oligopoly – none of which are based in Australia.
Demand for Prospect’s ultra-low iron petalite is expected to be spread equally between Europe and Asia, with a considerable supply deficit for the foreseeable future.