Breakthrough Upgrading TLC Lithium Claystone Achieving 66% Lithium Grade Increase
VANCOUVER - American Lithium Corp. reported results of the latest independent laboratory testing to beneficiate samples from its Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) project which achieved a 49% mass reduction while increasing lithium grade by 66%. Subsequent leach testing extracted 96% of the lithium from upgraded samples. Previously, American Lithium had successfully shown the ability, under laboratory conditions, to extract lithium utilizing sulfuric acid leaching on samples of the Company’s TLC claystones at extraction rates of 90% in as little as 10 minutes. The Company has continued to build on these results by utilizing researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and then corroborating and expanding the LBNL findings utilizing McClelland Laboratories in Sparks, Nevada. Utilizing a centrifuge, technicians were able to concentrate lithium to grades as high as 2207 ppm and then extract up to 96% of the lithium in the upgraded fraction while utilizing 45% less sulfuric acid per unit of lithium extracted compared to previous testing. The beneficiated fraction contained 78.5% of the lithium in 51% of the mass; providing overall lithium extractions of 75% and a greatly improved economic outlook due to the reduced acid consumption and higher lithium grade in the leachate solution.
CEO, Mike Kobler, said, “Upgrading the lithium in our claystones using relatively simple physical processing has been a goal of ours from the beginning. Concentrating our claystones to higher grade lithium content will significantly reduce costs including energy and chemical use while minimizing environmental impacts. This truly is a game changer for us.”
While further process work and optimization is required and ongoing, this breakthrough provides direction to the overall process development and is a further step toward the successful production of battery grade lithium chemicals from the TLC claystones.