Palm Beach, FL – (January 24, 2019) — The worldwide demand for lithium will almost certainly continue to grow… as the industry searches for new deposits and methods to commercially extract it from existing known reserves. An article by Mining.com, an industry resource, discussed the supply & demand for lithium: “Lithium isn’t rare, but the lithium market is definitely under developed in comparison to most other industrial commodities, leaving the space to a select few conglomerate giants and a group of junior companies. The fact is, lithium has a ton of applications, from lubricating grease and glass fabrication, to glazes for ceramics, and finally, batteries. In particular, lithium is and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the battery-powered clean air future. Lithium reserves exist on 5 continents: North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia… but the concentration is in South America, where there are approximately 66% of the world’s reserves… In Chile, the number 2 producer of lithium in the world and 1st in reserves, their reserves are held in brine deposits. Active miners in the markets today include: American Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:LI) (OTC:LIACF), Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE:SQM), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) (TSX:LAC), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Orocobre Limited (TSX:ORL) (OTC:OROCF).
But there also reserves in the continental US and they are also held in brine deposits. The current major cost in the brine refinement process is the removal of impurities such as magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium via evaporation and additives. If they are successful, it will revolutionize the lithium mining industry, as more deposits will become economical and existing mining operations could change production methods to capitalize on cheaper processing costs. “Lithium Grade – Arguably the most important figure in any type of deposit. Typically, the higher the grade of lithium, the more economic the deposit.” The article concluded: “I believe it’s undeniable that lithium will play a major role in powering our clean air future. The trend is your friend and in this case it is only the beginning of what appears to be a major turning point in the way we live our day to day lives.”
American Lithium Corp. (TSX.V: LI) (OTCQB: LIACF) (Frankfurt: 5LA;) BREAKING NEWS: American Lithium is pleased to report that preliminary hydrometallurgical tests have been completed on TLC project samples demonstrating that lithium will effectively leach from the project area claystones with increased extraction relative to immersion time.
CEO, Mike Kobler states “This news is very exciting. Our preliminary results from the TLC project validate what we are looking for in lithium projects; shallow deposits, high grade and low-cost extraction opportunities. In fact, test results indicated a greater percentage of leached output in higher grade samples which is really positive.”
Seven TLC samples were sent for testing at America Assay Laboratory and processed using ICP-AEP protocols. The samples were leach tested with a mixed concentrate extraction, beginning with one-hour agitation in purified water, followed by a progression of one hour, six hour and twenty-four-hour agitation in up to a 20% total sulfuric acid solution. Lithium extraction increased progressively through increased formulation strength and duration.
Additional testing will evaluate the consumption of chemicals and the relationship of solution formulation relative to Li extraction within a 24-hour period. Advanced phase column tests will commence once the initial curing process provides consistent data.
American Lithium is evaluating the extraction economics of selected lithium-enriched claystones from both its TLC and FLV Projects and expects to report initial results early in 2019. Employees as well as independent consultants have been tasked with evaluating potential processing requirements and initiating advanced studies. Testing includes, but is not limited to, determination of grain size, agitation requirements, chemical strength and consumption, water consumption, material balance and durations. American Lithium’s consultant has established the testing protocols and management will submit requests for proposals from select engineering firms in the first half of the year. Read this full announcement and more news for American Lithium at: https://financialnewsmedia.com/news-li/
Additional mining industry developments from around the markets:
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) (TSX:LAC) is advancing two world-class lithium projects to production. Lithium Americas is focused on advancing the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Jujuy, Argentina and Thacker Pass project in Nevada, USA to production. Cauchari-Olaroz is currently in construction with first production targeted by 2020. Thacker Pass is completing detailed engineering and permitting with construction expected to begin in 2020
Last August the company, in a press release said that it was strengthing its Senior management team following the recently announced strategic transaction with Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. (“Ganfeng Lithium”) to jointly advance the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Jujuy, Argentina (“Cauchari-Olaroz”), in addition to the Company’s continuing development of the 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, USA (“Thacker Pass”).
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE:SQM) Developments: In an article issued on CNBC.com, Chile’s environmental regulator this month approved a $25 million compliance plan by SQM, ending a multi-year investigation by authorities that found the Chilean miner had overdrawn lithium-rich brine from the Atacama salt flat. The plan requires the world’s number two producer of lithium to reduce its extraction of brine.
The decision is unlikely to have a major impact on SQM’s total output of the ultralight battery metal, as the reduction represents a relatively small percentage of the total authorized to SQM by regulators.
This month it was reported Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, signed an Asset Sale and Share Subscription Agreement (Agreement) with Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) for a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albemarle to acquire a 50 percent interest in MRL’s Wodgina hard rock lithium project (Wodgina Project) in Western Australia and form a joint venture with MRL to own and operate the Wodgina Project to produce spodumene concentrate and battery grade lithium hydroxide.
Upon closing of the transaction, Albemarle would acquire a 50 percent interest in all mineral rights within the Wodgina tenements, other than iron ore (which will be retained exclusively by MRL) and tantalum (which remain held by a third party), the spodumene concentration plant and all other fixed infrastructure, utility assets and mobile mining equipment to be used in the Wodgina Project, other than the crusher (which will remain owned and operated by MRL), for a purchase price of $1.15 billion. The parties would jointly manage the joint venture through a company to be owned in equal shares by the parties.
Orocobre Limited (TSX:ORL) (OTCPK:OROCF) (ASX:ORE) recently advise that effective Jan. 17th Mr Martín Pérez de Solay has been appointed to the Orocobre Board as Managing Director following the retirement of Richard Seville. At the same time, Mr Pérez de Solay has formally commenced his duties as Chief Executive Officer. Mr Seville will continue with Orocobre as a Non-Executive Director.
Orocobre Chairman, Mr Robert Hubbard commented, “I am pleased to welcome Martín to the Board of Orocobre as he commences his CEO duties. The transition period between Martín and Richard has been extremely smooth and reflects the high calibre and commitment of both people. “I would also like to take this final opportunity to thank Richard for his contribution to Orocobre over the past twelve years and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.”
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