Test work using a simple four hour, sulphuric acid leach test at room temperature extracted up to 85% lithium.
Significantly, a very modest increase in temperature to only 50 degrees celsius achieved lithium extractions of 94-99% lithium.
The main lithium bearing mineral at Agua Fria is thought to be montmorillonite and further testing has commenced.
Adrian Griffin, managing director, commented: “We have clearly demonstrated the ease with which lithium can be recovered from the volcanogenic sediments at Agua Fria.
“Beneficiation of the components containing the lithium, to produce a concentrated product is the next challenge. Fortunately the characteristics of each of the minerals are very different, providing a number of avenues to achieve the desired outcome.”
The Agua Fria prospect is focused on volcanogenic sediments which host widespread lithium mineralisation.
The sediments occur within the same geological sequence as Bacanora Minerals’ (CVE:BCN) La Ventana deposit which is currently being evaluated for production.
La Ventana is the largest documented lithium clay deposit and Agua Fria has a similar footprint.
Early indications are very promising with significant drill intervals having average values exceeding 1000 ppm lithium.
During early April, a 3,000 metre drilling program commenced at the Agua Fria, which is still underway.