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A Spodumene Extraction method that's more cost-efficient and modular

· Power Metals Corp,lithium,Canada,TSX,Stock

Light Metals International (LMI) has developed a patent-pending method to rapidly manufacture lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and/or lithium hydroxide (LiOH) from a variety of spodumene-rich (LiAlSi2O6) concentrates.

The technology is modular and highly scalable, thereby enabling a small “factory footprint,” and holds the potential to decrease overall hard-rock lithium production costs. Unique features of the technology include:

  • Only 3 feedstock materials are required: (i) a spodumene concentrate, to produce high-purity Li2CO3 and/or high-purity LiOH; (ii) high-purity CO2, which is consumed in forming Li2CO3; and (iii) high-purity H2O, which is consumed in forming LiOH.
  • Creates 3 potentially saleable high-purity products: Li2CO3 and/or LiOH, aluminum hydroxide, Al(OH)3, and amorphous silica, SiO2.
  • Eliminates use of conventional sulfuric acid leaching
  • Modular capabilities allow for scalable and remote deployment

MGX Minerals, who has a 20% interest on Power Metals Flagship Lithium Project Case Lake, has engaged LMI and Orion Laboratories to jointly develop and commercialise a new method of extraction of lithium compounds from spodumene (hard rock) material or concentrate.

“The success of Case Lake, our Ontario joint venture, has led us to review new metallurgical methods that have the potential to significantly reduce the costs and equipment required for extraction of the principle spodumene elements lithium, aluminium, and silica,” said MGX President and CEO Jared Lazerson. “We believe Dr. Blencoe has a firm understanding of the thermochemical requirements to achieve such a goal.”

Both Orion and LMI are led by Dr. James G. Blencoe. Dr. Blencoe has more than 40 years of experience designing, constructing, operating and maintaining specialised equipment for advanced chemical production. He is considered a foremost expert on thermophysical properties and phased relations of solids, liquids and gases.

Dr. Julie Selway, VP for Exploration at Power Metals, said the Company is fortunate to have first hand involvement in the development of this new technology by providing samples from Case Lake.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Case Lake property and for lithium hard rock processing methodology." added Dr. Selway. "The advantages of this methodology are that it is potentially faster and cheaper and eliminates the use of sulfuric acid. I look forward to collaborating with such an experienced metallurgist as Dr. James Blencoe and seeing his results."

Dr. Blencoe has developed numerous techniques for the precise and accurate control and measurement of chemical composition in actively-reacting open and closed systems. Prior to entering the private sector as Founder and CEO of Orion, Dr. Blencoe spent 24 years working at the renowned Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and 9 years working at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Blencoe has published more than 50 articles and reports in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and technical magazines. He holds a B.S. degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. degree in Geology from Stanford University.

10kg sample from Case Lake delivered

Power Metals has sent a 10kg spodumene sample, containing mineralised material, to LMI. The sample originates from the Case Lake lithium project in Ontario, specifically retrieved from the drill programs both at the Main Dyke zone and the recently drilled Northeast Dyke, located 900 metres from the Main Zone. These samples will be used to perform initial bench scale laboratory testing.

Power Metals is working with LMI and Orion via a Letter of Intent ("LOI") that has been executed by MGX Minerals.

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