Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rodinia Lithium says it successfully harvests sylvinite on site at Diablillos

Rodinia Lithium (CVE:RM) (OTCQX:RDNAF) announced Monday it had successfully harvested sylvinite at its 100 percent owned Diablillos lithium-potash brine project in Salta, Argentina.
The company said that sylvinite, a potash and sodium chloride, has been harvested during operation of its pilot engineering program being conducted on site at Diablillos.
The results of the brine geochemical development during this pilot cycle was within the company’s expectations, it said, and offers "significant confirmation" of the initial portion of the metallurgical process described in its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), conducted on Diablillos in December of 2011.
Pilot processing confirmed the effective removal of sylvinite in an isolated pond using conventional evaporation-based processing.
"Having harvested Sylvinite during the regular operation of our pilot engineering program is a major milestone for the company,” said president and CEO William Randall.
"We remain confident that these results confirm our ability to produce potash from Diablillos using conventional methods employed by other major brine producers in South and North America.
"This asset continues to meet our targeted milestones as we advance towards feasibility and production."
This initial result from the pilot engineering program is from the first series of solar evaporation tests at ambient conditions of the Salar, said Rodinia.
The evaporation was started May 2011, and concluded in April 2012. The first series is one of five evaporation tests in progress.
The company reported that each test in pools and pans were started at different times of the year to see the effect of weather on the evaporation cycle chemistry, and the resultant brine from these evaporation tests will subsequently be processed for recovery of boron and lithium products.
Rodinia said the process engineering department continues to monitor the evolution of both the pools and pans installed on site at approximately 4050 metres above sea level.
A first stage of magnesium and sulphate removal has already been completed, and followed by the successful removal of sylvinite in the ensuing step, this confirms that potash is going to be a "valuable by-product of an eventual lithium carbonate production facility", Rodinia said.
Rodinia Lithium is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company with a primary focus on lithium exploration and development in North and South America.
It is focused on developing Argentina's Salar de Diablillos lithium brine project, which contains a recoverable resource of 2.82 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent and 11.27 million tonnes of potassium chloride equivalent.
The project contains a recoverable inferred resource of 952 million cubic metres grading 556 milligrams per litre lithium and 6,206 milligrams per litre potassium.
In early April, the company announced a $3 million financing using subscription receipts.
The financing involved a structure tied to future production of potash with a conversion feature priced at 45 cents per share – 100 percent higher than the recent trading price at that time.
The financing monetizes the potash from this project as a by-product, creating a "potash stream preferred share" that is interest-bearing and has a one-half common share warrant exercisable at 45 cents.
The company has until 2015 to produce potash and if delayed, it would incur a production penalty, the report noted.
In 2012, Rodinia Lithium will focus on continuing to develop the Diablillos project by completing additional drilling and advancing it through to feasibility study.
In November 2011, the company's preliminary economic assessment for Diablillos indicated a potentially low cost operation with a net present value as high as US$964 million, and a mine life of greater than 20 years.
In March, Rodinia said that it started the construction and operation of a pilot production facility at its Argentina project.
The facility is to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate on site, including production of by-products potash and boric acid, giving a glimpse of how a potential final production facility would operate.

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