The company believes the project has the potential to provide a significant, and long-life supply of lithium for both domestic consumption and export, and make the US self-sufficient in lithium as the country currently imports most of its lithium for li-ion battery construction.
Program of work
Jindalee's work program includes:
➢Further drilling to increase resources and exploration target range (ETR);
➢Review and assess new drill data and generate targets;
➢Additional metallurgical optimisation underway to reduce costs (attrition test-work, carbonate flotation);
➢Commence permitting studies for environmental assessment and water rights, including community engagement; and
➢Engage with US investors and potential partners.
The McDermitt deposit covers 34 square kilometres and has a maiden inferred mineral resource of 155 million tonnes of 2,000ppm lithium.
Jindalee has two lithium projects in the US – the McDermitt project and Clayton North in Nevada which is at the pre-exploration planning stage.
Encouraging test results
The company said that leach recycling tests had shown excellent lithium recoveries of more than 95% with short residence times, using both sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid.
Metallurgical test-work using sulphuric acid for leaching has shown that up to 97% of lithium can be leached within two hours at moderate temperature and atmospheric pressure.
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, indicating 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.
The test-work by SGS confirmed that beneficiation of McDermitt ore through screening can potentially result in a ‘significant’ increase in head grade as a reduction in the volume of material being leached.
It has also shown 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.
A separate metallurgical test-work program has been developed in conjunction with US-based consultants and 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 to be tested to evaluate the potential to:
➢Upgrade the ore by screening; and
➢Reduce acid consumption by removing carbonate prior to leaching with H2SO4.
Fundraising to advance McDermitt
In April 2020, the company raised A$110,000 through a small placement of 366,667 shares at 30 cents each to a corporate sophisticated investor.
The funds raised will go towards advancing its McDermitt project as well as for general working capital purposes.
It noted that the decision to undertake a small raising was based on timing and no underwriting or other fees were paid.