Since March, the Kelowna, British Columbia-based firm has been running in-house tests to establish how to recover lithium in the most cost-effective way from synthetic brines.
''Our ongoing solution testing of the drilled lithium horizons continues to provide great insights and novel ways to strive for a low-cost mining and processing solution to unlock the potential value of the Lithium enriched claystones,'' said CEO Robert McAllister in statement.
The company is running a series of tests, grain sizing and lithium grades per grain sizing, pre-strip reagent testing on impurity levels in the upper oxide and reduced drilled horizons.
Enertopia is still waiting for the assay results on the grain sizing, but early “reagent results thus far have been very encouraging,” the company said.
“These tests have been run at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure. Early findings have resulted in significant drops in contaminants before running ion resin column leach tests,” the company noted.
For example, boron levels have been dropped to below the detection limit of 5 ppm from starting solution values of 49 ppm in the upper oxide horizon, 27 ppm in the reduced horizon, and calcium values have been dropped to a low of 16 ppm from 740 ppm in the oxide horizon, according to the statement.
The company also said potassium values have been dropped to 46 ppm in the upper oxide and to 64 ppm in the reduced zone from 1,800 ppm levels. Sodium values of 500 ppm and 600 ppm in the upper oxide and reduced horizons were dropped to 300 ppm and 434 ppm, respectively.
Ion resin exchange values below 500 ppm are considered the threshold for cost-effective potassium and sodium removal, the company said.
“We believe our next series of solution testing will further lower the contaminant levels even further,” which helps lower costs, the company said.
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