- Three Phase Program to Be Implemented, Including Construction and Operation of Evaporation Pans, Pools and Lined Ponds
- Evaporation Pans and Larger Pools Currently Installed and in Operation
- Pilot Production Ponds Are Anticipated to Be Over 25 Hectares in Size
- Final Pilot Production Facility Will Be Capable of Producing Up to 200 Tonnes of Lithium Carbonate A Year
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2012) - Rodinia Lithium Inc. ("Rodinia" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:RM)(OTCQX:RDNAF) is pleased to announce that construction and operation of a pilot production facility has commenced on its 100% owned Salar de Diablillos lithium brine project ("Diablillos" or "Salar") located in Salta Province, Argentina. The pilot production facility aims to confirm the proposed process described in the recent Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") dated December 22, 2011 filed on SEDAR and its results will be incorporated into a Feasibility Study. The facility aims to produce battery grade lithium carbonate on site, reflecting the operating conditions of a potential final production facility, including production of potash and boric acid.
"In conjunction with initiating our first production sized well, Rodinia has initiated work to complete the construction and operation of a pilot production facility that is anticipated to produce boric acid, potash and battery grade lithium carbonate on site," commented William Randall, President and CEO of Rodinia. "The three phase program allows us to work out any potential problem areas before we reach that phase in our larger lined pond system, allowing the Company to develop the project more aggressively. In addition to confirming the processing flow sheet, the pilot production facility will allow us to demonstrate the potentially low production costs estimated in the recent PEA."
Description of the Pilot Program
Phase I-Evaporation Pans:
Seasonal evaporation rates and the natural phase chemistry of the Diablillos brine are being determined through the use of six standard evaporation pans, each 4 feet in diameter and 25cm tall, buried in the ground near the existing weather station. Pan A contains fresh water and is used to determine the evaporative potential at Diablillos. Pans 1, 2 and 3 are filled with the indigenous brine, and refilled in sequence, to concentrate the brine and to measure evaporation rates versus density. Crystal and residual brine samples from pans 4 and 5 are collected every two days and analyzed to evaluate the evolving natural phase chemistry. The final concentrated brine will be used to conduct bench testing and process evaluation to maximize the recovery of lithium, the recovery of potassium and boron co-products and to determine the size of production ponds. Pan A, and pans 1, 2 and 3 have been in place since May 2011; pans 4 and 5 are recent additions to increase concentrated brine volume for bench tests.
Phase II - Evaporation Pools/Bench Testing
The evaporation pools will provide a large volume of concentrated brine for bench tests. Ten evaporation pools, each 10 square meters in area, have been installed adjacent to the evaporation pans. The pools have been filled with brine from a well located in the proposed production field as noted in the PEA. Bench scale processing of the concentrated bittern from these pools will further define the processing scheme tested in Phase I and refine the economic aspects of the process flow sheet.
Phase III - Pilot Ponds/Pilot Plant
Bench scale process testing will be ramped up to larger pre-production volumes through the construction, filling, evaporation and processing of brine in large pilot evaporation ponds. The ponds will cover approximately 25 hectares and will be lined. Initially, brine from the production well will fill the entirety of the pond area. As evaporation occurs the brine will be concentrated in a larger initial pond as it reaches saturation. The ponds will then be used in sequence to demonstrate the proposed process to isolate sodium ("Na"), potassium ("K"), and magnesium ("Mg") salts and produce a concentrated lithium-rich bittern. The process is also anticipated to harvest sylvinite. In addition, exploration is underway to define a suitable area of the Salar's surface for an unlined pond, which will have minimal leakage. This pond is anticipated to be the largest of the commercial production ponds and used for the primary evaporation stage. A pilot plant will be designed and assembled on site. It is intended to process the resultant lithium-rich bittern.
The Project is supervised by Ray Spanjers, Rodinia's Manager of Exploration. Mr. Spanjers is considered a qualified person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this release.
About Rodinia Lithium Inc.:
Rodinia Lithium Inc. is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company with a primary focus on Lithium exploration and development in North and South America. The Company is also actively exploring the commercialization of a significant Potash co-product that is expected to be recoverable through the lithium harvesting process.
Rodinia's Salar de Diablillos lithium-brine project in Salta, Argentina, contains a recoverable resource of 2.82 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent and 11.27 million tonnes potassium chloride equivalent. The project contains a recoverable inferred resource of 952,553,000 m3 grading 556 mg/L lithium and 6,206 mg/L potassium as set out in the Company's NI 43-101 compliant technical report entitled "Salar de Diablillos Project, Salta Province, Argentina, NI 43-101 Technical Report on Brine Resource Estimate" dated May 3, 2011 and filed on SEDAR. Throughout 2012, Rodinia will focus on continuing to develop the Diablillos project by completing additional drilling and advancing through Feasibility Study.
The Company also holds 100% mineral rights to approximately 70,000 acres in Nevada's lithium-rich Clayton Valley in Esmeralda County, and is currently in the process of assessing the size, quality and processing alternatives of this deposit. The Clayton Valley project is located in the only known lithium-brine bearing salt lake in North America, and looks to represent the only new source for domestic lithium carbonate supply.
The Projects are supervised by Ray Spanjers, Rodinia's Manager of Exploration. Mr. Spanjers is considered a Qualified Person, as defined by National Instrument 43‐101.
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "plans", "proposes", "estimates", "intends", "expects", "believes", "may", "will" and include without limitation, statements regarding the impact and development of the pilot plant facility at the Diablillos property and results of such program; the potential of the Diablillos property; anticipated timing with respect to the completion of a feasibility study, the potential results and timetable for further exploration with respect to the Clayton Valley project and the Diablillos property, the timetable with respect to future acquisitions and exploration developments at Clayton Valley and Diablillos, timetable for further exploration, analysis and development, title disputes or claims; and governmental approvals and regulation. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, metal prices, competition, financing risks, acquisition risks, risks inherent in the mining industry, and regulatory risks. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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