- Maricunga Project
- Maricunga (DFS)
Vancouver, British Columbia - Bearing Lithium Corp. ("Bearing" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: BRZ) (OTCQB: BRGRF) (FRANKFURT: B6K1) is pleased to report that a second sample of lithium carbonate with a purity of 99.9% was produced by Veolia Water Technologies utilizing concentrated brine from the Maricunga project. This is a subsequent sample to the previous release on February 21st, 2018 which announced a 99.4% purity lithium carbonate sample produced by GEA.
The Maricunga joint-venture continues to advance towards the submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project in Q2/2018 and the completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in Q3/2018.
Production of Second Lithium Carbonate Sample
Minera Salar Blanco (MSB) has provided an update on the ongoing advancements at the Maricunga lithium project in Chile. Minera Salar Blanco (MSB) is a joint-venture company owned by Bearing Lithium (17.7%), Minera Salar Blanco SpA (32.3%) and Lithium Power International (50%). Under the terms of the earn-in, Lithium Power has contributed the exploration and development funding to advance the project through to the completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study.
Minera Salar Blanco has produced its second lithium carbonate sample from Salar de Maricunga brine at the Veolia facilities. The brine was concentrated at pilot plant solar evaporation ponds at the site for almost 12 months, and subsequently treated at the lab of Veolia in order to purify and precipitate lithium carbonate suitable for battery grade specification similar to those produced in Chile by Albemarle and SQM. The processing approach is based on conventional technology, which has been employed within the industry for decades, and is scalable up to commercial production levels. The purity of the product is estimated at 99.9%.
The optimized evaporation process has been developed by Peter Ehren, principal process consultant to the Maricunga Project (MSc. Raw Materials Technology, QP under NI 43-101), and executed by Veolia. This work has been achieved by using several crystallization techniques to remove primary contaminates such as tachyhydrite and calcium chloride from the Maricunga lithium bearing brine.
A second part of the process provides for simplified and optimized polishing stages in order to remove the remaining boron, calcium and magnesium from the concentrated lithium brine. This successful application ensured the purity of the final washed lithium carbonate production was 99.9% which exceeds the battery grade lithium carbonate specification (c.f. Table 1 below).
Jeremy Poirier, President and CEO of the Company, commented: “These latest results exemplify the high-quality end product that the Maricunga project is capable of producing utilizing conventional processing technology. The high-purity lithium carbonate will garner significant interest from potential off-take partners as the project continues to advance towards a development decision.”
Table 1: Specifications of Lithium Carbonate Sample
Figure 1: Lithium Carbonate Samples
Source: Veolia Water Technologies
Peter Ehren, MSc. Raw Materials Technology, who is a technical consultant to the Company and is a qualified person within the context of National Instrument 43-101, has approved the scientific and technical disclosure in the news release.
About Veolia Water Technologies
Veolia Water is the water division of the French multinational company, Veolia Environment S.A. or Veolia. Veolia is headquartered in Paris, France, and has four primary business segments: water management, waste management, transport and energy services. Veolia has been testing the concentrated Maricunga brine at their facilities since Q3/2017. This work will be ongoing during the Definitive Feasibility Study that the joint venture is undertaking during 2018. Optimisation of the lithium extraction and potassium production aims to establish the lowest cost for the process, with the highest possible lithium recovery.