Power Minerals (ASX:PNN) announces that Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) company Sunresin New Materials has completed a bulk-sample test of brines from its Salta Lithium Project located in the lithium triangle of north-west Argentina.
The company reports bulk-sample testing has confirmed that the brine chemistry and quality at the Incahuasi, Rincon and Pocitos salares at Salta is amenable to Sunresin’s DLE technology and plant, and successfully produced a lithium concentrate.
The successful bulk-sample test was conducted at Sunresin’s proprietary DLE plant in Shaanxi province, China, and is a major positive step in progressing Power’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sunresin.
Power Minerals says the use of DLE technology has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of any future lithium producing operation at Salta. Power plans to start resource definition drilling at the project imminently.
The company also notes the MoU is proposed to be carried out in 4 phase process, with the end goal of securing a binding agreement for a commercial-scale lithium producing operation at the Salta Project.
“The successful completion of Sunresin’s bulk sample testing of the Salta brines represents a highly significant deliverable in our ongoing work with Sunresin”
Commenting on the progress of works, Power Minerals Executive Director Mena Habib said: “The successful completion of Sunresin’s bulk sample testing of the Salta brines represents a highly significant deliverable in our ongoing work with Sunresin. The ability of Sunresin’s DLE technology to successfully process brines of varying grades from the Salta Project helps confirm the Project’s DLE development potential.
Sunresin now plans to conduct a site visit to the project prior to the end of the calendar year, and we plan to move to commence a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) or Scoping Study at the project.”
The company reports that bulk-sample testing involved 40 litres of brine being extracted from each of the Incahuasi, Rincon and Pocitos salares, which was then sent to Sunresin’s proprietary DLE processing facility. The bulk samples from each individual salar was then processed through Sunresin’s DLE plant on a salar-by-salar basis.
With the first phase of the MoU successfully completed, Power extracted the bulk-samples of 40 litres of brine from each of the Incahuasi, Rincon and Pocitos salares and dispatched them to Sunresin for processing and testing through its proprietary DLE technology.
Sunresin is a global player in DLE technology and has a total of 10 commercial projects across the globe, ranging from a capacity of 3,000tpa to 25,000tpa. It is able to extract lithium from varying brine grades and compositions in an economically viable manner, and deliver high recoveries of lithium with low costs and expedited processing times, without the need for evaporation ponds.
The Salta Project is strategically located in the Salta province in north-west Argentina and is part of the Lithium Triangle, the world’s leading lithium brine region. The Project consists of 5 salares (salt lakes) that sit within seven mining leases, over a total project area of 147.07km-square. The project’s Incahuasi salar is located immediately adjacent to Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd’s project and the Rincon salar is adjacent to Rincon Mining, recently acquired by Rio Tinto for US$825 million.
Power is in process of assessing appropriate potential commercial development pathways for the project. These may include the adoption of DLE at the Project, and/or a potential hybrid strategy utilising DLE on blended brines from the different salares.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au