OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 17, 2016) – Stria Lithium Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SRA)(OTCQX:SRCAF) (“Stria” or the “Company”) is pleased to report that further metallurgical testing confirm 88g per tonne (Ta) tantalum metal in bulk samples extracted from its wholly owned Pontax Lithium Project in the James Bay Region of Northern Quebec.
Widely used in cell phones and computers and other consumer electronics, tantalum is also used in nuclear reactors, aviation components, medical implants and surgical devices. The United States, Canada and the European Union have designated tantalum emanating from the largest tantalum producing countries in Africa as a conflict metal.
Initial metallurgical testing results on Pontax spodumene concentrate by SGS Canada Ltd. (SGS) published on May 24, 2016, showed a highly favorable result that supported the Company’s decision to continue its investigation and exploration of the Pontax property. (See news release filed on SEDAR).
Those tests support the metallurgical viability of Pontax spodumene as a feedstock for the production of high value, in-demand lithium metal and high-grade lithium compounds for lithium battery applications and other lithium products for technology applications using Stria Lithiums proprietary process.
Subsequent metallurgical investigations performed by SGS discovered significant concentrations of tantalum, feldspar and quartz in the Pontax mineralization. Further metallurgical investigation for additional recoveries of tantalum from Pontax spodumene waste materials are now planned.
Stria holds in-house developed, proprietary technologies that remove upstream obstacles to enable downstream production of lithium metal, lithium carbonate or hydroxide using conventional metallurgical processes.
SGS confirmed the presence of tantalum (88g/t Ta) in the as received trench samples by whole rock analysis.
The present flowsheet to produce a combined spodumene concentrate assaying 6.3% Li2O with an 85% overall lithium recovery incorporates dense media separation – magnetic separation and flotation.
During magnetic separation for removal of iron bearing minerals from both DMS and flotation feed ores, Tantalum bearing minerals are naturally recovered in the magnetic concentrates. These combined concentrates represent almost 39% of tantalum in the feed mineralization at a concentration of 1275g/t Ta. Further testwork is now planned to upgrade this material as a potentially marketable tantalum concentrate through gravity concentration and/or selective flotation.
As a further 38% of the tantalum is rejected in the final DMS gangue material, this stream will also be tested for Tantalum mineral recovery.
Tantalum is a silvery metal that is soft in its purest form. It is almost immune to chemical attack at temperatures below 150 C. Tantalum is virtually resistant to corrosion due to an oxide film on its surface.
Tantalum finds use in four areas: high-temperature applications, such as aircraft engines; electrical devices, such as capacitors; surgical implants and handling corrosive chemicals. Because of its anti-corrosive properties, Tantalum is widely used by chemical industries for heat exchangers in boilers where strong acids are vaporized.
Feldspar and Quartz
Preliminary laboratory flotation tests on spodumene flotation tailings have established the potential for recovery of a high grade quartz product assaying greater than 98% SiO2 and representing 25.4% of the flotation tailings volume.
Two feldspar products have also been produced. A high grade product containing 34.3% microcline, 64.2 % albite and 1% quartz and a lower grade product containing 18.9% microcline, 76.5% albite and 4.6% quartz. The combined mass yield for these feldspar products represents 54.4% of the flotation tailings.
Stria Mangement are encouraged that potentially 80% of the flotation tailings that would normally require disposal can possibly be marketed as quartz and feldspar products.
Feldspar is a common raw material used in glassmaking, ceramics, and to some extent as a filler and extender in paint, plastics, and rubber. In glassmaking, alumina from feldspar improves product hardness, durability, and resistance to chemical corrosion.
Quartz is economically important on a global scale and is one of the most widely used minerals in manufacturing, including glass for automotive, residential and industrial applications; as a flux in metallurgy; as an abrasive material and in building materials. By volume, the bulk of all commercially mined quartz is used in the construction industry as aggregate for concrete and as sand in mortar and cement.
About Stria’s Proprietary Process
An initial roasting produces the β-spodumene used for Stria’s process. Within a closed loop containing chloride compounds, the β-spodumene is mixed in a proprietary process environment. Impurities including iron, magnesium, vanadium, chrome, aluminum and silicates are eliminated, producing a high-purity lithium chloride concentrate.
The unique advantage of Stria’s process is that it removes upstream obstacles to enable downstream production of lithium metal, lithium carbonate or hydroxide using conventional metallurgical processes.
Stria’s process obviates the need for additional, cost-heavy refinery steps, making it potentially economically competitive.
Moreover, the process permits the recycling and repeated re-use of chemicals, returning them to the start of the process -using fewer chemicals results in lower costs and effectively lowers the process’s environmental footprint.
About Stria Lithium Inc.
Stria Lithium Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SRA) is a Canadian junior mining exploration company with an expanding technology focus and the sole owner of the Pontax spodumene lithium property in Northern Quebec. Stria’s mission is to be a reliable, profitable global source for both lithium metal and lithium compound products and process technologies for producing value added lithium products.
Stria’s expanded business focus is on the application of in-house developed technologies and processes that lead to the production and milling of lithium metal and lithium metal foil for advanced lithium batteries.
From the production of lithium metal also comes the value added production of: lithium hydroxide; lithium carbonate; lithium fluoride, and; lithium chloride.
Lithium is a critical metal in the universal fight against global warming. It is a core component of Lithium-Ion batteries used for powering electric vehicles and for industrial scale energy storage.
Towards its commercial goals, Stria has positioned itself as a partner in the 2GL Platform business alliance announced on May 18, 2016. 2GL Platform is a green energy technology strategic alliance with Grafoid Inc., Focus Graphite Inc., and Braille Battery Inc. (See news release filed on SEDAR).
Mr. Oliver Peters, M.Sc., P.Eng, MBA, (Consulting Metallurgist for SGS and Principal Metallurgist of Metpro Management Inc.) is an Independent Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the metallurgical information of the SGS testwork provided in this news release.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements, being statements that are not historical facts, and discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are in our documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at www.sedar.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the accuracy of this release.