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Potash West NL Holds Significant Investment In Lithium Technology

Potash West NL (ASX:PWN) through its shareholding in Platypus Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLP) is leveraged to lithium processing technology, L-Max®.

L-Max is the subject of an international patent application, which will provide protection in 148 countries.

The L-Max process allows for the extraction of lithium chemicals from mica minerals which in turn unlocks production potential from unconventional lithium sources.

Commercialisation of L-Max technology advances the development of K-Max, a process to produce potash and other valuable commodities from glauconite.

The K-Max process is a key element in Stage 2 of Potash West's flagship wholly owned Dinner Hill potash project.

Patrick McManus, managing director, commented: "This progression towards the protection of the patent will allow acceleration of the development of L-Max technology into an exciting growing field of lithium compounds."

Lithium exposure

Potash West holds 7.1% of the issued capital of lithium developer Platypus.

The ownership resulted from the sale of Potash West's previous equity stake in lithium explorer Lepidico Limited, which was acquired recently by Platypus.

Platypus is well placed to develop Lepidico's L-Max technology to extract lithium at lower cost than conventional hard rock producers.

Progress of L-Max will assist in developing Potash West's 100% owned K-Max technology.

Dinner Hill potash project

The Dinner Hill project is located 150 kilometres north of Perth and has an Indicated Resource of 250 million tonnes at 2.9% phosphorous pentoxide.

A scoping study was completed on the project forecasting an expected mine life of 40 years and pre-tax net present value of A$378 million.

It is estimated to have an average mine production rate of 3.8 million tonnes per annum to produce an average of 400,000 tonnes per annum of single superphosphate (NYSE:SSP).

SPP is a versatile and widely marketable fertiliser.

Capital costs for the project are $205 million, including $66 million for a process plant.

Dinner Hill is expected to be in operation by 2020.

A recent 20 hole aircore drill program discovered thick, high grade potash mineralisation 10 kilometres south of the current Dinner Hill deposit.

Analysis

Potash West has created valuable intellectual property in its K-Max process, which has the opportunity to be applied to other potash deposits.

The development of the potash related K-Max process is set to be advanced upon commercialisation of the lithium related L-Max process.

Through Potash West's shareholding in Platypus, the company gains exposure to a new commodity in lithium through both the development of lithium related processing technology and projects.

Platypus, the owner of the L-Max process are taking steps to commercialise the process through an international patent application, which is currently pending.

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