TORONTO, ONTARIO — (GlobeNewswire – May 29, 2018) – Plateau Energy Metals Inc. (“Plateau” “PLU” or the “Company“)(TSX VENTURE:PLU)(FRANKFURT:QG1)(OTCQB:PLUUF), a lithium and uranium exploration and development company, is pleased to announce results from initial metallurgical test work undertaken at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (“ANSTO Minerals”) mineral processing laboratories in Sydney, Australia. The test work was completed on representative lithium-rich tuff samples collected from outcrop trenches at the Falchani discovery on the Company’s Macusani Plateau lithium/uranium project in southeastern Peru.
The test work forms part of the Company’s continuing efforts to unlock value from the Falchani high-grade lithium discovery and aims to demonstrate ‘proof of concept’ precipitation of lithium carbonate product employing an approach which involves simple atmospheric acid leaching of the lithium-rich tuff material followed by conventional lithium processing steps. Other process options for the up-front extraction of lithium continue to be examined by ANSTO Minerals in parallel with the current program.
ANSTO Minerals Test Work Results
- The leach test work was conducted on bulk trench outcrop samples of the lithium-rich tuff from the Falchani discovery.
- The sample contained 3,336 ppm Li and was milled to a P80 150 micron (µm), with a slurry density of 30 wt%, and leached with a 48 hour residence time at 90-95 °C (similar conditions to the leach test work reported previously completed by TECMMINE in Peru).
- 90% of contained lithium was extracted to leach solution, which compares favourably and improves on the 80% Li extraction from the earlier TECMMINE test work.
- Lithium extraction was reported steady at ~90% recovery level as early as 12 hours into the leach test, indicating shorter leach times should be considered.
- Acid consumption was 153 kg/t of the material processed.
- A preliminary lithium carbonate production flow-sheet using a ‘simple’ up-front sulfuric acid leach has been proposed by ANSTO Minerals (Figure 1 – Preliminary Acid Leach Lithium Carbonate (LC) Flow Sheet for Falchani.jpg, attached) and consists of well understood, conventional lithium processing steps.
- The next phase of the ANSTO Minerals test work will be to produce a battery grade lithium carbonate product via this proposed flow sheet from a larger (15 kg) sample of lithium-rich tuff material. This work should be completed in the next 5-6 weeks.
Ted O’Connor, CEO of Plateau Energy Metals, commented: “These are truly exciting times for Plateau Energy Metals. The recent test work completed at the well-known, and highly respected ‘Lithium-dedicated’ Laboratories at ANSTO Minerals confirms and enhances our previous lithium leaching results. The higher, 90% Li extraction with lower acid consumption reported at 153 kg/t bodes well for future work on this unique lithium mineralization. Sulfuric acid reagent costs represent the main consumable in our proposed lithium carbonate production process, and carries an estimated cost equivalent of US$15/tonne processed based on locally sourced Peruvian acid (<US$100/t, delivered). Acid consumption is expected to reduce during the locked cycle test work phase of planned work that will more accurately reflect proposed operating conditions.
It is also extremely encouraging that the preliminary lithium carbonate production flow sheet proposed by ANSTO Minerals, mirrors existing and conventional ‘off-the-shelf’ lithium processing methodology. We expect to see the first laboratory based battery grade lithium carbonate product being produced from Falchani lithium-rich tuff samples this summer.”
Doug Collier (FAusIMM) of ANSTO Minerals, and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release.
About ANSTO Minerals
ANSTO Minerals is an international mining consultancy group located in Sydney, Australia, with an experienced team of 60+ engineers, metallurgists, chemists, and scientists who have been providing consulting services and process development services to the mining and minerals processing industries for well over 35 years. ANSTO Minerals has world-leading expertise in uranium ore processing, rare earth processing, zirconium/niobium/hafnium processing, base metals processing, lithium processing (brines and hardrock), and radioactivity control and management.
About Plateau Energy Metals
Plateau Energy Metals Inc. is a Canadian lithium and uranium exploration and development company focused on its properties on the Macusani Plateau in southeastern Peru. The Company controls all reported uranium resources known in Peru, significant and growing lithium resources and mineral concessions covering over 91,000 hectares (910 km2) situated near significant infrastructure. Plateau Energy Metals is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ‘PLU’, quoted on the OTCQB under the symbol “PLUUF” and the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol ‘QG1’. The Company has 69,496,054 shares issued and outstanding.
Forward Looking Information
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements concerning possible expected results of exploration and future exploration activities. Forward-looking statements are frequently identified by such words as “may”, “will”, “plan”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend” and similar words referring to future events and results. Forward-looking statements are based on the current opinions and expectations of management. All forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and subject to a variety of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that any future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with our expectations; mining and development risks, including risks related to accidents, equipment breakdowns, labour disputes (including work stoppages and strikes) or other unanticipated difficulties with or interruptions in exploration and development; the potential for delays in exploration or development activities; risks related to commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; risks related to foreign operations; the cyclical nature of the industry in which we operate; risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms or delays in obtaining governmental approvals; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration; risks related to the certainty of title to our properties; risks related to the uncertain global economic environment; and other risks and uncertainties related to our prospects, properties and business strategy, as described in more detail in Plateau’s recent securities filings available at www.sedar.com. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements and Plateau cautions against placing undue reliance thereon. Neither Plateau nor its management assume any obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements.