As the presence of magnesium can impede the extraction of lithium carbonate from a brine solution, discovering low Mg/Li ratios is an important fundamental in exploration for economic lithium brines.
As previously reported read more a total of 24 samples reported grades ranging from 537 to 24.6 mg/L Li and an average of 292.9 mg/L Li and the lowest grade sample was 2.4 mg/L Li.
These samples were subsequently tested for 24 additional elements including magnesium. Magnesium grades ranged from 30.8 to trace mg/L Mg with an average grade of 1.9 mg/L Mg. There is an inverse relationship between Li and Mg grades.
The primary value of this information is the potential of near surface brines at American Lithium’s North Playa Fish Lake project to be able to avoid the need to remove the Mg before any potential concentration and purification of Lithium can take place.
The secondary value is that the North Playa mineralization is an atypical mineralizing system and there may be potential for the separation of lithium from the associated playa clays. These clays are not typical Hectorite clays which generally require high energy to separate lithium from the clay. The Company intends to embark on a series of tests to identify the type of bonding in the lithium in the North Playa clays and estimate the energy needed to separate the lithium from the clays.
“These sampling results suggest that the North Playa is a unique lithium enriched system and the company will continue to work to define the economic potential of lithium enriched brines and clays in the Fish Lake Valley,” said Michael Kobler, Executive Director and COO of American Lithium.
“This new information will continue to drive our exploration program as we work to advance our projects in the Fish Lake and Clayton Valleys, Nevada.”
Previous near surface brines were sampled using a conventional hand-held auger to sample sub surface brines at a depth of 78″ (2m). The brine was sampled at the bottom of the auger hole and then separated from residual clays before being sent for analysis.
For the expanded near surface brine sampling program the Company has developed a new methodology for sampling. Instead of an auger system, a four inch diameter pipe is driven into the ground to a depth of approximately 55″ (1.4m) and then pulled out of the hole, (see news release Aug. 11, 2016). A 2.5″ (6.3cm) perforated pvc pipe is placed in the hole to keep it open while clay solids settle to the bottom of the hole.
The brine is then sampled just above the settled material at the bottom of the hole. Samples are collected and shipped to Florin Analytical Services in Reno, Nevada where the lithium content is measured by ICP analysis with an atomic absorption finish, all other analysis is measured by ICP analysis with a Mass spectrometry finish.
Story by ProactiveInvestors