Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX:AVL,NYSEMKT:AVL) provided an update on its progress at its Separation Rapids lithium minerals project in Ontario. One highlight is that metallurgical process development work has produced a “very high purity lithium mineral (petalite) concentrate.” It has very low iron content.
As quoted in the press release:
Twenty kilograms of petalite concentrate has been produced by the Company for evaluation by several potential customers in the glass and ceramics industry in North America, Europe and Asia who have expressed interest in a high-purity product. If this product meets the customers’ performance requirements, it is anticipated that the Company would (subject to financing) then proceed with bulk sampling and construction of a demonstration scale production facility to produce larger quantities of the product for full-scale trials by the customers.
Pierre Neatby, vice president of sales and marketing at Avalon, commented:
Our potential customers have shown renewed interest in Separation Rapids for over eighteen months. Since process development work was restarted in 2013, we have been able to produce a petalite concentrate at the bench scale with over 4.0% lithium oxide content and less than 0.01% iron oxide. Such extremely low iron levels make this material very attractive to glass manufacturers, since iron is otherwise a contaminant in glass manufacturing.