Nevada Sunrise Metals Corp. [NEV–TSXV; NVSGF-OTCGF] reported results of metallurgical testing carried out on lithium mineralization from its 100%-owned Gemini Lithium Project in the Lida Valley basin of Esmeralda County, Nevada.
A novel method of small-scale column testing achieved a 90.2% lithium extraction rate under the direction of Willem Duyvesteyn, of Extractive Metallurgy Consultancy LLC, based in Reno, Nevada. Duyvesteyn utilized the facilities of McClelland Laboratories Inc. in Sparks, Nevada for the metallurgical tests.
Highlights: Preliminary leaching test work was designed to focus on obtaining a lithium leach extraction of more than 80%. Early tests included a standard sulfuric acid leach, the re-leach of residues, a hot acid beaker leach of low and high-grade mineralization, and a gypsum/lime roast water leach.
Following the use of various extraction methods an “acid-bake” step was implemented using concentrated sulfuric acid on moist lithium-in-sediment mineralization with average lithium values of approximately 1,100 ppm.) lithium.
A one-metre-tall column was loaded with Gemini clay mineralization and an open-circuit system employed a two-step leaching system, which achieved a 90.2% lithium extraction over a 25-day period.
The 90.2% lithium extraction rate achieved from the Gemini mineralization compares favourably with the average lithium extraction of 84% reported by Lithium Americas at its Thacker Pass lithium project
As follow-up to the successful outcome of this small-scale column testing, Duyvesteyn has designed a larger- scale test involving 50 kilograms of Gemini clay mineralization, which began in late May 2023. The larger test will employ selected higher-grade mineralization averaging approximately 2,000 ppm lithium.
Duyvesteyn and McClelland are carrying out further studies to assess the production of high-purity lithium carbonate from the column leach solutions. Both conventional precipitation methods and a modified direct lithium extraction (DLE) technique, utilizing proprietary lithium absorbents are under consideration.
In March and April 2022, Nevada Sunrise drilled two RC boreholes for a total of 2,020 feet (615.85 metres) in its maiden drilling program at Gemini. The drill sites were located within a defined gravity low that hosts conductive layers detected by historical ground electromagnetic surveys. The results from the first two holes at Gemini represented a new discovery of lithium mineralization in the western Lida Valley, which was not historically drill tested for lithium.
In July 2022, Nevada Sunrise received a permit for an expanded drilling area from the Bureau of Land Management good until July 2024 and began Phase 2 drilling at Gemini in October 2022. Three additional boreholes were completed from October 2022 to April 2023, with each intersecting lithium mineralization.
Nevada Sunrise believes that the southern and western parts of the Gemini basin are highly prospective for additional lithium mineralization and that further drilling could eventually define a large lithium resource. The company is in discussions with a Vancouver, BC-based engineering firm to commission a NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate and a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the lithium-bearing zones at Gemini.
Gemini consists of 582 unpatented placer and lode claims approximately 10 km east of the town of Lida, Nevada.
Nevada Sunrise owns 100% interests in the Gemini, Jackson Wash and Badlands lithium projects, with no applicable royalties, all of which are located in the Lida Valley in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The company owns Nevada water right Permit 86863, also located in the Lida Valley basin, near Lida, Nevada.