Jindalee Resources Ltd (ASX:JRL) has received encouraging metallurgical test-work results from the McDermitt Lithium Project near the Nevada-Oregon border in the US.
These tests have confirmed an increase in lithium head grade via screening, which the company described as significant.
To date, metallurgical test-work has focused on leaching using sulphuric acid, which has demonstrated that up to 97% of lithium can be leached within two hours at moderate temperature and atmospheric pressure.
“Very high leach rates”
Recent test-work recorded ‘very high’ leach rates with 97.9% of the lithium extracted after 30 minutes and 98.7% extracted after 60 minutes.
This suggests that a leaching residence time of 30 minutes (once the leaching temperature reaches 106°C) may be viable.
Estimated acid consumption was relatively high and further work on removal of acid consuming minerals (such as carbonate) and recycling of acid is planned.
Increase in head grade
This test-work undertaken by SGS has confirmed that beneficiation of McDermitt ore through screening has the potential to result in a ‘significant’ increase in head grade as a reduction in the volume of material being leached.
It has also showed that leaching with HCI may represent a viable alternative processing route, with further investigation of this concept warranted before selection of the flowsheet for a future development scenario at McDermitt.
Location of drill holes, resource and exploration target at McDermitt.
Jindalee has previously advised that a separate metallurgical test-work program has been developed in conjunction with US-based consultants and samples shipped to a metallurgical laboratory in Colorado.
A total of 44 kilograms of representative samples from holes MDD-006 and MDD-012 (adjacent to hole MDD-008) have been received by the laboratory and will be tested to evaluate the potential to:
- Upgrade the ore by screening; and
- Reduce acid consumption by removing carbonate prior to leaching with H2SO4.