American Lithium Corp. [LI-TSXV; LIACF-OTCQB; 5LA-FSE] reported producing lithium carbonate from its 100%-owned flagship Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) claystone deposit 12 km northwest of Tonopah, southwestern Nevada.
Leachate produced by McClelland Laboratories in Reno, Nevada from TLC was systematically put through a base-case process to remove impurities before precipitating lithium carbonate successfully. This milestone prompted the beginning of a testing program to optimize each step of the process to improve economics and reduce waste. To facilitate this program, Dr. Jarrett Quinn, lithium mining veteran, was retained as a metallurgical consultant.
Dr. Quinn states, “The process we have currently developed, works, but continued process testing will explore each stage in detail to maximize the economics of the overall process. Simultaneously, we will be investigating potentially game-changing and alternative technologies to evolve the process further.”
The current testing program is intended to produce design information required for the construction of a continuously operating pilot plant planned for 2021/22. The pilot plant will showcase the operations of the eventual full-scale plant. Lithium is a critical mineral that needs to be produced domestically, and the TLC project has the potential to be a low-cost, sustainable, and domestic source of this mineral.
Work to date has identified a 5.3-million-tonne measured and indicated lithium carbonate equivalent resource, with an additional 1.7 million tonnes inferred, placing the company’s resource amongst a handful of potential lithium deposits in Western North America capable of development. TLC is near surface, relatively flat-lying and a free-digging lithium sedimentary deposit that the company expects to advance through an early-stage economic study in 2020.