American Lithium obtains 82% lithium extraction from Tonopa with 'extremely low' level of impurities
The company said that ongoing process work at Hazen Research has shown that roasting TLC lithium-bearing claystones with sulphate and chloride salts, followed by water leaching, results in 82 per cent of lithium being extracted with a significantly lower impurity load as compared with acid leaching. This alternative processing method will be investigated further, the company added.
According to a statement, full roasting/water leaching results will be compared with results for sulphuric acid leaching to ascertain which method is best from an economic and environmental perspective.
The company noted that the TLC claystone mineralization continues to demonstrate exceptional ability to be concentrated and amenable to multiple process options with lithium carbonate having already been produced.
COO Dr. Laurence Stefan stated, "The early success of roasting demonstrates once again the robust nature of the TLC lithium resource and its processing versatility. This new metallurgical approach opens the door widely to produce either lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide or both from the TLC project. The extremely low level of impurities in the leachate provides many advantages over the successful sulphuric acid leaching technique that has been the focus to date."
American Lithium is currently focused on exploration and development of its strategically located TLC lithium claystone project in the richly mineralized Esmeralda lithium district in Nevada as well as continuing to advance its Falchani lithium and Macusani uranium development projects in southeastern Peru.