Various outcrop locations across the claims were investigated in July 2017. These outcrops were primarily light greenish exposures of claystone, mudstone and volcanoclastic deposits forming part of a sequence of uplifted paleo-lake deposits on the flank of the basin. Numerous samples were collected and analyzed in the field using a LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) handheld analyzer that had been calibrated specifically for lithium. Sixteen samples were ultimately bagged and delivered to ALS/Chemex Labs in Reno, NV for assay analysis.
Early indications show at least two potential types of lithium enrichment on the Enertopia property.
Lab analysis has revealed the high solubility of the contained Lithium which should offer the Company the ability to create the synthetic brine suitable for extracting the Lithium using Genesis Water Technologies patent pending lithium extraction technology.
Below is a photo showing one of many Lithium enriched outcrops on the project.
The Table Below shows the first phase sampling Lithium results:
|SAMPLE #||ME-ICP61 (1) PPM Li||ME-MS41W (2) PPM Li||ME-MS03 (3) PPM Li|
(1) ME-ICP61 is a four-acid digestion that will extract lithium from any mineral, including silicates.
(2) ME-MS41W is a highly dilute version of aqua regia that will dissolve carbonate minerals.
(3) ME-MS03 is a leach method that uses deionized water to extract lithium in the sample.
Note samples CV001005, CV001006 and CV001010B returned over limit values under the ME-MSO3 deionized water leach test.
Summary of sample results:
Samples 005, 006 and 010B returned the highest Lithium values from 2,040 ppm to 4,120 ppm Li under ME-ICP61. In the field, these samples stood out by the high values generated by the LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) handheld analyzer indicating a very good field guide to testing for Lithium. These rock types tended to more competent and had higher Na values. Lab results confirmed the high Na values of over 5% compared to lower lithium value rocks that returned on average 2% Na or less.
Samples 002-004B, 007A-010A returned Lithium values from 560 ppm to 1,160 ppm Li. These rocks were typical claystone, less competent and had lower Na values.
De-ionized water leach method showed a wide range of Lithium recovery’s from under 8% in sample 003 to over 75% in sample 010A. However, in general, lithium recoveries just using de-ionized water for the leach test were higher than expected and suggest that lithium extraction from near surface rock and soil material may be possible on a larger scale.
De-ionized water leach is a first-pass method to determine an initial approximation of the leachability of lithium from a sample. More advanced leach methods (using dilute acids, bases and elevated temperature, for example) are expected to show substantially greater leaching of lithium from samples.
These tests are only the early stages of a much broader research effort to determine what combination of mechanical and chemical methods could be used to optimize lithium extraction from the types of rock and soil material located on the Enertopia claims.