Frontier Lithium successfully pilots spodumene concentrate for hydromet conversion – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – March 30, 2022)

Frontier Lithium (TSXV: FL; OTC: LITOF; FRA: HL2) has successfully concluded a pilot-scale campaign to produce 500 kg of spodumene concentrate that will be used to conduct piloting of a hydrometallurgical conversion process.

A 7,800-kg sample of blended material from the Spark (89%) and PAC (11%) deposits was collected. It averaged 1.57% lithium oxide and 0.8% iron oxide. The Spark material is fine-grained, which necessitated desliming, magnetic separation and gravity concentration before flotation.

The pilot program ran for a total operating time of 81 hours, including a continuous run of 31.5 hours. A total of 930 kg of concentrate was produced averaging 6.0% lithium oxide.

A second 640-kg bulk concentrate averaging 6.13% lithium oxide and 0.76 iron oxide. A 500-kg portion was sent to a pilot plant for hydrometallurgical treatment to create lithium salts. The survey conducted during the final pilot shift achieved a lithium recovery of 76%, compared to 78% in bench-scale locked cycle tests.

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