Dr Mehta has over 45 years’ experience in both mineral and brine lithium operations across the globe and was directly involved as the lead processing engineer for FMC’s historical spodumene mining operations within the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt of North Carolina
Based near Charlotte, North Carolina, 10km from WCP’s Piedmont Lithium Project, Dr Mehta’s immediate focus will be overseeing the Company’s metallurgical testing from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 drilling campaigns and will then be involved in the upcoming technical studies
Dr Mehta’s experience and immense knowledge of the spodumene within the Piedmont Lithium Project area will be invaluable as the Company moves forward with the strategy of restarting the lithium mining industry within the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt
WCP Resources Limited (“WCP” or “Company”) (ASX: WCP) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Dr Vijay Mehta as strategic advisor to the Board to advise on lithium processing and product quality for the Piedmont Lithium Project (“Project”). The Project is located in the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (“TSB”), a historic lithium producing district in North Carolina, United States.
Dr Mehta is a lithium industry veteran with 45+ years of experience in mineral and brine based processing technology and importantly he is based in Gastonia, just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr Mehta was the Product and Process Technology Development Leader of FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) for 30 years stepping down in 2010. FMC is one of the world’s largest lithium producers. During his time at FMC he was directly involved in the processing of the spodumene pegmatites from FMC’s operations within the TSB. Additionally, Dr Mehta was one of the founding developers of FMC’s lithium plant in the Hombre Muerto Salar, in Salta Province, Argentina, which has produced lithium carbonate since 1998.
Dr Mehta will initially oversee the Company’s upcoming metallurgical testing to be conducted on the drill core from both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 drilling campaigns and will then be involved in the technical studies with regards to process and plant design on the Project. His past experience with processing the spodumene pegmatites from the TSB will be invaluable to the Company over the coming years.
Dr Vijay Mehta holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Ph.D in Flotation Technology, has authored more than 15 U.S. Patents relating to lithium processing, and has published over 50 technology reports and 10 academic papers all related to lithium processing and related products.
The Piedmont Lithium Project The Piedmont Lithium Project is located within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (“TSB”), and along trend to the Hallman Beam and Kings Mountain mines, historically providing most of the western world’s lithium between 1950 and 1990. The TSB is one of the premier localities in the world to be exploring for lithium pegmatites given its history of lithium bearing spodumene mining, favourable geology and ideal location with easy access to infrastructure, power, R&D centres for lithium and battery storage, major high tech population centres and downstream lithium processing facilities.
Figure Above: Piedmont Lithium Location and Bessemer City Lithium Processing Plant (FMC, Top Right) and Kings Mountain Lithium Processing Facility (Albemarle, Top Left)
The TSB has previously been described as one of the largest lithium provinces in the world and is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The TSB was the most important lithium producing region in the western world prior to the establishment of the brine operations in Chile in the late 1990’s. The TSB extends over approximately 60 kilometres in length and reaches a maximum width of approximately 1.6 kilometres.
The Project was originally explored by Lithium Corporation of America which eventually was acquired by FMC Corporation (“FMC”). FMC and Albemarle Corporation (“Albemarle”) both historically mined the lithium bearing spodumene pegmatites from the TSB with the historic Kings Mountain lithium mine being described as one of the richest spodumene deposits in the world by Albemarle. These two mines and their respective metallurgy also formed the basis for the design of the two lithium processing facilities in the region which were the first modern spodumene processing facilities in the western world.
Albemarle and FMC continue to operate these important lithium processing facilities with FMC’s Bessemer City lithium processing facility being approximately 14 kilometres from the Project whilst Albemarle’s Kings Mountain lithium processing facility is approximately 17 kilometres from the Project.
The Company is in a unique position to leverage its position as a first mover in restarting exploration in this historic lithium producing region with the aim of developing a strategic, U.S. domestic source of lithium to supply the increasing electric vehicle and battery storage markets.
Forward Looking Statements This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on WCP’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of WCP, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. WCP makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.
For further information, contact:
Keith Phillips President & CEO (elect) T: +1 973 809 0505
Anastasios (Taso) Arima Executive Director T: +1 347 899 1522