Rodinia Lithium Inc. has announced that it has received a preliminary processing report for its Salar de Diablillos project located in Salta Province, Argentina.
The report is authored by Mr. Robert Cinq-Mars and describes a detailed process to recover lithium carbonate from the subterranean brines of Diablillos. The proposed lithium recovery process is a combination of solar evaporation steps, in-field brine treatment, co-product potash ("KCl") and boric acid recovery, and chemical processing to produce lithium carbonate. The process results in a high lithium recovery of 65% once the brine is saturated producing 131,200 tonnes of KCl sylvinite and 10,250 tonnes of boric acid for every 10,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate.
William Randall, President & CEO of Rodinia, commented "This processing report demonstrates the high quality brines of the Diablillos aquifers, resulting in a clean and efficient process with excellent recoveries of lithium. The low impurity levels, in particular magnesium and sulphate, allow for the harvesting of potash as a high impact co-product. The brine quality also ensures that the processing requires conventional reagents at moderate levels, meaning that we will not need to source expensive and hard to find chemicals. I would like to thank Mr. Cinq-Mars for his hard work and expertise that has produced this low-cost method. The findings described in the report will be incorporated into our upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment."
The process was designed from initial brine with an average composition of 580 mg/L lithium, 7200 mg/L potassium, and 520 mg/L boron. The initial magnesium to lithium and sulfate to lithium ratios were 3.4 and 14.8 respectively. The process contemplates a series of ponds from largest to smallest, where the largest is used to bring brine to saturation and is designed to be unlined, reducing the capital cost of pond construction. Brine extracted from the final pond will have a concentration of approximately 12% lithium chloride and will be transported to the treatment facility, where boric acid and lithium carbonate are produced.
The process was developed and designed by Mr. Robert Cinq-Mars. Mr. Cinq-Mars has a wealth of experience in process design and management. His work experience includes 20 years in the lithium industry. During his time with Lithium Corporation of America, subsequently purchased by FMC Corporation, Mr. Cinq-Mars was Manager of New Resources and Process Development. Mr. Cinq-Mars' work included process research and development of three routes to recover lithium from new reserves, physical evaporation studies in laboratory to support process design, and identification of alternate lithium resources in the world.
The Project is supervised by Ray Spanjers, Rodinia's Manager of Exploration. Mr. Spanjers is considered a qualified person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this release. According to the Company's sampling protocol, sample size is to exceed 500 millilitres and be stored in clean, secure containers for transportation. The prepared samples are then forwarded to the ALS Laboratory Group, Environmental Division, in Fort Collins, Co (USA) for analysis. A rigorous QA/QC program is implemented consisting of regular insertion of standards and blanks to ensure laboratory integrity.