[Australia] Lithium creatures are stirring – by Staff (Mining Journal – December 14, 2016)


Fair to say there aren’t many Christmas cards being exchanged between the offices of Lepidico, Lithium Australia, Strategic Metallurgy and newly renamed Parkway Minerals, despite the ‘close’ connections of key figures at the various companies over the years.

Instead it’s ASX statements carrying each other’s names that are flying back and forth at the moment, with legal documents in tow.

Lithium microcap Lepidico’s recent annual general meeting in Perth heard the company would be maintaining a business-as-usual approach to developing its proprietary L-Max process while an ongoing legal stoush with rival junior Lithium Australia bubbled away below the surface.

While managing director Joe Walsh agreed with an irritated shareholder the uncertainty and “all the noise out there” was weighing down Lepidico’s share price, he said he and fellow directors were “dealing with it – mostly out of the public spotlight”, and, “I am reasonably confident of seeing a resolution [to the Lithium Australia issue] … in the fullness of time”.

Meanwhile, it was “business as usual” for Lepidico as it moved to commercialise L-Max via a small-scale process plant the company wanted to get operational by mid-2019.

Now, though, the public torch is burning a little brighter after Lepidico this week lodged its defence and a counterclaim in response to Lithium Australia’s November 4 commencement of Supreme Court of Western Australia proceedings to clarify its right to commercialise the Sileach lithium extraction process. Lithium Australia promptly came back with a statement saying it would file a response and defence to the Lepidico counterclaim by December 23.

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