Metallurgical Test Results Indicate Cost Saving Potential for Georgia Lake
Vancouver, BC, Canada – September 22, 2020 – Rock Tech Lithium Inc. (the "Company" or “Rock Tech”) (TSX-V: RCK; Frankfurt: RJIB) is pleased to announce the results from its recently completed metallurgical program on the Company’s 100%-owned Georgia Lake lithium project in Ontario, Canada.
Highlights from the program include:
- 60% of the spodumene can be recovered using gravitational techniques,
- Over 80% flotation recovery achieved on low-grade ore, exceeding PEA assumptions,
- Potential to reduce the project’s CapEx and OpEx.
The Company engaged Wave International (“Wave”) to assist in developing the metallurgical program that will facilitate a clear pathway to upcoming feasibility work.
Improved Sample Representativity
Samples for the gravity testwork were composited from a representative core selection across the project’s Main Zone which will provide most of the plant feed in the first years of production.
A visual core inspection was carried out and two domains were defined: the more slowly cooled coarse-grained centre of the pegmatite, referred to as ‘coarse’ and the more quickly chilled fine-grained margin of the pegmatite, referred to as ‘transition’. The ‘coarse’ ore fraction represents around 60% of the Main Zone North orebody and the ‘transition’ zone the remaining 40%. The testwork program was carried out separately for both domains and the results combined according to their weighting.
Under the supervision of Wave, Nagrom, a laboratory based in Kelmscott, Western Australia, conducted Heavy Liquid Separation (“HLS”) bench-scale testwork to determine the viability of a potential Dense Media Separation (“DMS”) processing route for Georgia Lake. The primary objective of this testwork was to study the potential for reducing the size of any necessary flotation circuit and associated capital and operating expenses as laid out in the PEA.
The program produced a 6.0% Li2O spodumene concentrate at 60.9% recovery which compares favorably to other lithium projects relying exclusively on gravitational processing.
“Many operating spodumene mines achieve substantially lower recoveries with their DMS circuits in comparison to what our test results have shown. Since gravity separation is much less CapEx- and OpEx-intensive, we see cost savings potential,” said Simon Bodensteiner, Rock Tech’s Chief Executive Officer.
In addition to the gravitational testwork, Rock Tech engaged SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS”) to carry out flotation tests on a low-grade sample with 0.88% Li2O to confirm the suitability of the flotation flowsheet used in the PEA at feed grades below the current undiluted resource estimate.
The tests produced marketable grade spodumene concentrates above 5.9% Li2O whilst constantly achieving recoveries in excess of 80% (PEA: 78%).
“This confirms that the flotation flowsheet produces marketable concentrates even at feed grades below the average resource grade. It was not the objective of the program to match the PEA’s concentrate grade (6.2% Li2O) but to rather maximize resource recovery, generating more feed for an integrated downstream lithium hydroxide operation. We will continue further tests and optimizations related to future feasibility work and will assess the potential of eliminating the complete flotation circuit through an ultra-fines DMS process,” said Simon Bodensteiner.
About Wave International
Wave International is a resource development consultancy with nearly 20 years of global experience in engineering, project delivery, project management and asset management – providing project strategies and solutions in the battery minerals sector for more than a decade. Wave and its key personnel have delivered upstream and downstream projects from resource definition through study, design, commissioning, delivery, ramp up and operations.
Located in Kelmscott Western Australia, Nagrom's treatment plant offers extensive capabilities in all aspects of mineral separation and concentrates preparation. Nagrom’s team of dedicated employees has the capability to handle contract mineral processing as well as both small- and large-scale metallurgical test programs and they are the ideal partner from project start up to an established mining operation.
About SGS Canada Inc.
With over 70 years of experience and a truly global presence, SGS has earned a reputation as the leading supplier of proven, technologically advanced metallurgical services. SGS provides optimal, environmentally sustainable flowsheets and has demonstrated success in metallurgical and process design providing the processing industry with innovative approaches to geometallurgy, process modeling, production forecasting and advanced control systems.
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Alexander Pleson, who is a member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists Ontario and is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.