The 20-tonne bulk sample has been sent to SGS Lakefield, which will commence the first stage of pilot plant metallurgical testwork to produce a battery-grade lithium carbonate product. As previously reported, bench-scale metallurgical tests at SGS successfully produced battery-grade 99.6% lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) using standard flow-sheet processes.
"This pilot-scale test work is the next phase of metallurgical tests for our project development, following a successful first stage," said Canada Lithium President and CEO Peter Secker. "Results from this pilot metallurgical test will be used for the feasibility study next year. The material will also provide additional samples under the terms of our marketing agreement with Mitsui in Japan."
In addition, the Company has commissioned engineering firm BBA Inc. to determine the potential for an open-pit operation rather than an underground mine. The analysis was initiated following the announcement in early November that the conceptual target had doubled to 29-30 million tonnes grading 1.1%-1.2% Li2O. (The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the discovery of a mineral resource. This estimate cannot be considered current and reliable.)
"Our initial concept was a ramp-access underground operation, but with the geological studies undertaken to date, we have commissioned our engineering consultants BBA Inc. to model the open-pit potential," Mr. Secker said.
The digitizing and modeling of all historical data from the 400 holes drilled when the mine was operating up to the mid-1960s was undertaken by Caracle Creek International Consulting (CCIC) this past fall. This work culminated in the new conceptual target estimate of 29-30 million tonnes, well above the historical NI 43-101 non-compliant resource of 15 million tonnes grading 1.4% Li2O.The CCIC-supervised 7,000-metre drill program is now 70% complete and initial assays are expected in the near future. The majority of the drill program is focused on twinning historical drill holes in order to prepare a 43-101 compliant resource estimate. The pre-feasibility study currently under way is on track for completion in the first quarter of 2010.
The historical estimate of 15 million tonnes at 1.14% Li2O is not compliant with NI-43-101 due to the fact that the original core samples from the historic drilling programs were lost when the mine closed down in 1965 and the assay data cannot be verified. A Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources; Canada Lithium Corp. is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources; and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
The conceptual tonnage exploration target was prepared by Michelle Stone, P.Geo., a Senior Geologist with CCIC. Ms. Stone is an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Ms. Stone has read and approved the contents of this news release.
As noted above, test samples were processed by SGS Lakefield. Gary Pearse, B.Sc Geol Engineering, M.Sc Econ., is the designated QP within the meaning of the term in NI 43-101.
Canada Lithium Corp. is a Canadian-based resource and exploration company trading under the symbol CLQ on the TSX-V. The Company has initiated a prefeasibility study on the Quebec Lithium Project, which will include environmental, metallurgical, geological and engineering studies. It has an agreement with Japanese metals trading firm, Mitsui and Co. Ltd., to market a portion of Canada Lithium Corp.’s product in China, Korea and Japan. Metallurgical tests have produced battery-grade lithium from deposit samples.
Lithium-ion batteries (sometimes abbreviated Li-ion batteries) are a type of rechargeable battery in which the anode (negative electrode) contains lithium, and the cathode (positive electrode)is made of a type of porous carbon. During normal operation, the current flows (when the external circuit is connected) from the anode to the cathode, as in any type of battery.
Lithium-ion batteries are common in portable consumer electronics because of their high energy-to-weight ratios, lack of memory effect, and slow self-discharge when not in use. In addition to consumer electronics, lithium-ion batteries are increasingly used in defense, electric vehicles, and aerospace applications due to their high energy density.