MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 04/25/12 -- Critical Elements Cororation (TSX VENTURE:CRE)(OTCQX:CRECF)(FRANKFURT:F12) is progressing on the treatment of the spodumene flotation concentrate to produce lithium carbonate.
A 91% recovery of lithium carbonate has been achieved so far from the flotation concentrate. It is expected that further test work will permit to increase this recovery to the 94% range.
Particular emphasis has been put on the purity of the lithium carbonate produced. The intent is to have all of the lithium carbonate production meeting battery grade specifications. High purity battery grade has easily been achieved to date with results of 99.9% Li2CO3. The major impurities usually encountered in lithium carbonate produced from salars or the old sulfuric acid pugging process (magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium) are absent or at level of less than 10 ppm in the Critical Elements lithium carbonate produced. We do not expect any major difficulty in achieving higher purity grade product. To merit the "battery-grade" designation, lithium carbonate product must meet a minimum 99.5% level.
Work is progressing also on the recovery of tantalum. Overall recovery achieved so far by flotation followed by a combination of high gradient magnetic separation and gravity has been 60%, 10% higher than used in the original PEA. Additional work is also being carried out for the production of pure tantalum oxide from the concentrate.
The mineralogy of the ROSE deposit is homogeneous. Nevertheless, test work is continuing on the primary flotation of spodumene for variability characterization (if any) including comminution from a series of composites from all parts of the deposit.
A flotation pilot plant will be run during the coming weeks to produce large quantities of spodumene concentrate to complete work on the production of high purity battery grade lithium carbonate and the production of tantalum oxide.