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",
is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company with a
primary focus on lithium exploration and development in North and South
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
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
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.