United Lithium Corp. (CSE: ULTH; OTC: ULTHF; FWB: 0UL) (the “Company”), is pleased to announce it has signed a partnership with Process Research Ortech Inc. (“Ortech”) of Mississauga, Canada, to develop a leaching and purification protocol for hard rock lithium deposits.
The proposed work program will develop preliminary mineral processing and metallurgical process flow-sheets for the recovery of lithium from hard rock spodumene mineralization. The development of this process will allow the Company to move towards commercialization of lithium extraction and purification from spodumene through a pilot project. The Company anticipates the program will require approximately 16-22 weeks from engagement to full completion and results.
Ortech will work with United Lithium to undertake the following steps for completion of Phase I;
- Mineral processing (Spodumene/Petalite)
- Impurity removal (i.e., Al, Fe, Si, Mn, Zn, Mg and Ca)
- Product recovery (lithium carbonate (Li2CO3))
This test work will lead to the development and evaluation of an initial process flow-sheet for optimization in subsequent research, which will involve a mini pilot plant test program to obtain preliminary process design criteria and economic feasibility data.
Lithium (Li) is one of the important strategic metals due to its increasing use in emerging technologies, especially batteries for plug-in hybrid, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, portable electronics and energy storage. High purity lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is used as a raw material to produce these batteries. Currently, ~35% of global lithium production is being used in lithium ion batteries (LIBs) and consumption for estimated LIB demand could be 66% by 2025. High-grade lithium hard rocks/ores and brine are the present sources for commercial lithium production. More than 80% of the lithium is produced from brine due to significantly lower production costs compared to hard rocks. However, the global distribution of lithium brine is geographically concentrated and dramatically uneven which may result in monopolies. Therefore, hard rock minerals should be used more effectively and economically to meet the increasing demand for lithium.
The largest concentrations of lithium-containing minerals are found in granitic pegmatites. The most important of these minerals are spodumene (Li2O.Al2O3.4SiO2), petalite (Li2O.Al2O3.8SiO2) and lepidolite (LiKAl2F2Si3O9 or LiF·KF·Al2O3·3SiO2). Among these minerals, spodumene is considered the most important commercial lithium mineral due to its higher content.
Mark Saxon (FAusMM), Technical Advisor to the Company, is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure or Mineral Projects) and has prepared or reviewed the preparation of the scientific and technical information in this press release.
On Behalf of The Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Forward-Looking Statements Caution. This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating to statements regarding the Company’s business, products and future of the Company’s business, its product offerings and plans for marketing. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance and developments to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. Except as required by law, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation and does not intend to update any forward-looking statements or forward- looking information in this news release. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and makes no reference to profitability based on sales reported. The statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release.