Separation Rapids (Avalon)
Separation Rapids is a large LCT-type complex pegmatite owned by Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL and OTCQX: AVLNF) (“Avalon”) and situated in SW Ontario, Canada.
Separation Rapids contains a NI 43-101 compliant petalite resource, but also contains very large, as yet unquantified, amounts of lepidolite.
As announced on 6 February 2017, Lepidico entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Avalon for an integrated lepidolite mining and lithium carbonate production partnership based on Separation Rapids.
The Separation Rapids lithium deposit is situated approximately 70 km by road north of Kenora, Ontario. Separation Rapids hosts a substantial NI 43-101 compliant petalite Mineral Resource (ref. Avalon’s Preliminary Economic Assessment announcement, 27 September 2016).
Samples from outcropping lepidolite-rich sub-zones to the east of the main Separation Rapids petalite resource were provided to Lepidico for laboratory bench tests using L-Max® as part of the Phase 1 Plant Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). Excellent results were achieved including the production of battery grade lithium carbonate of 99.88% purity, as reported by Lepidico in its ASX announcement of 25 January 2017.
Avalon and Lepidico subsequently entered into a non-binding letter of intent (“LOI”) under which it is contemplated that Avalon would sell a minimum of 15,000 tonnes per annum of lepidolite concentrate, produced from its planned demonstration-scale pilot plant to be located in Kenora, to Lepidico for processing at its planned Phase 1 commercial lithium carbonate production facility. As part of its PFS, Lepidico contemplated locating its Phase 1 Plant in Canada, near large consumers of L-Max® products including lithium carbonate and a range of by-products.
Avalon undertook a winter drilling program, to be completed mid-May 2017, to test known extensions of the Separation Rapids lithium deposit and expand the mineral resource. This included a number of holes designed to better delineate the lepidolite-rich sub-zones and bring them into the total lithium resources on the property.
Lepidico’s Managing Director, Joe Walsh said, “Test work on lepidolite samples from Separation Rapids has returned excellent recoveries and produced high-specification battery grade lithium carbonate using Lepidico’s L-Max® technology. The partnership between Avalon and Lepidico provides the opportunity for lepidolite within the Separation Rapids deposit to provide a new source of lithium battery material to the market and also expedite the commercialisation of L-Max®.”