Frontier Lithium Inc. (TSX-V: FL) (US OTC: LITOF) (FSE: HL2) is pleased to announce the commencement of mini-pilot plant operations with XPS Expert Process Solutions a Glencore Company, at their research and development centre in Falconbridge, ON and at other off-site locations. The goal of the pilot is to directly produce lithium hydroxide from the PAK Lithium Project resource. The PAK project contains Ontario’s highest grade and largest lithium resource and is located in an emerging premium lithium mineral district located in the Great Lakes region of northern Ontario.
In 2020 Frontier Lithium awarded XPS, the contract to jointly construct and operate the Pilot in its Falconbridge, Ontario facility. Sample preparation and concentrate production have recently been completed, pyrometallurgical processing has commenced, and final hydrometallurgical circuit construction and commissioning is currently taking place. The mini-pilot is configured to produced high quality lithium-bearing pregnant leach solution that is suitable for continuous crystallization by a reputable off-site third party with the objective of demonstrating the production of high purity battery quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate from a steady state process. This pilot project is being undertaken to alleviate financial and technical risks associated with scaling-up of our innovative patent pending lithium extraction process which is under an International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filing. The pilot aims to generate high-purity battery grade lithium hydroxide chemical which will be used as marketing samples of the product and will also provide essential data required for a future Pre-Feasibility Study to be conducted by the company. The final crystallization work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.
Trevor Walker, President and CEO said “We are excited by our progress with XPS on the mini-pilot plant. Last year’s preliminary test results showed the lithium extraction technology to be viable at bench-scale. The initial commissioning of the pilot represents a significant milestone and marks the culmination of extensive research and development into a flowsheet that could process spodumene concentrates directly to lithium hydroxide chemicals without employing a lithium carbonate intermediate. Frontier is well positioned in the Great Lakes region as it develops Ontario’s largest lithium bearing spodumene resource with multiple deposits which will be required to support North American lithium-ion battery production capacity.”
All scientific and technical information in this release has been reviewed and approved by Garth Drever, P.Geo., the qualified person under the definitions established by National Instrument 43-101.
The Company has been provided a new U.S. OTC Market symbol of “LITOF“; the Company’s primary listing is in Canada on TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “FL”.
The Company anticipates releasing the initial results from its Preliminary Economic Assessment study for a fully integrated project producing lithium hydroxide from the PAK Lithium Project early next month.
About Frontier Lithium Inc.
Frontier Lithium is a Sudbury based, publicly listed, junior mining company with the largest land position in an emerging premium lithium mineral district located in the Great Lakes region of northern Ontario. The company maintains 100% interest in the PAK Lithium Project which contains one of the North America’s highest-grade, large tonnage hard-rock lithium resource in the form of a rare low-iron spodumene. The Project has significant upside exploration potential. Frontier is a pre-production business that has recently commenced a Preliminary Economic Assessment study targeting the manufacturing of battery quality lithium hydroxide in the Great Lakes Region to support electric vehicle and battery supply chains in North America. Frontier maintains a tight share structure with management ownership approximately 30% of the Company.
About the PAK Lithium Project
The PAK Lithium Project encompasses 26,774 hectares at the south end of Ontario’s Electric Avenue, which is the largest land package hosting lithium bearing pegmatites in Ontario. The Project covers 65 km of the Avenue length and remains largely unexplored; however, since 2013 the company has delineated two premium spodumene bearing lithium deposits located 2.3 km from each other at the southwestern end of the project. Recently, Frontier confirmed the presence of spodumene with the Bolt pegmatite, between PAK and Spark deposits and the Pennock Lake pegmatite occurrence a further 30 km along the Project. Frontier’s premier Great Lakes location is advantaged by favorable geology, proven metallurgy with access to intermodal hubs, infrastructure, power, and mining along with downstream lithium processing expertise and auto OEM’s.
The PAK deposit has a mineral reserve in the proven and probable categories of 5.77 MT averaging 2.06% Li2O and hosts a rare technical/ceramic grade spodumene with low inherent iron (below 0.1% Fe2O3). The Spark Deposit has a mineral resource estimate of 3.2 MT averaging 1.59% Li2O (indicated) and 12.2 MT averaging 1.36% Li2O (inferred), as per the NI 43-101 Technical Report, “PAK prefeasibility study, Spark resource estimation” by WSP Canada Inc. and Nordmin Engineering Ltd., updated on March 23, 2020. The Company is finalizing a Preliminary Economic Assessment study for a fully integrated project producing lithium chemicals from the PAK Lithium Project.
Commissioning of pilot rotary kiln for pyrometallurgical processing. (CNW Group/Frontier Lithium Inc.)
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