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Jindalee Resources Prefers Acid Leaching Testwork for Lithium Extraction

Jindalee Resources Prefers Acid Leaching Testwork For Lithium Extraction
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Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX: JRL) (Jindalee or the Company) announces the preferred lithium extraction process for its 100% owned McDermitt Project.

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR), an American multinational engineering and construction firm, completed the review of Jindalee’s metallurgical testwork undertaken at the McDermitt Lithium Project. A range of lithium extraction methods was analysed in the review.

Based on the review, acid leaching with beneficiation was the most economically viable option for the Project. However, to refine the preferred flowsheet, it is recommended that metallurgical testwork begins immediately. This will support further studies on the Project, incorporating the recently updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE).

About McDermitt Project

The McDermitt Lithium Project, located in SE Oregon, is 100% owned by HiTech Minerals Inc., a wholly owned, US-based subsidiary of Jindalee. It is one of the largest lithium deposits in the United States.

Potential Pathways for Lithium Extraction

Presently, two possible methods for extracting lithium from sedimentary deposits, like McDermitt, include sulphuric acid leaching of either whole or beneficiated ore and alkali salt (sulphation) roasting.

Sulphuric Acid Leaching with Beneficiation

Jindalee initially focused on using beneficiation and sulphuric acid leaching, which closely aligns with the proposed processing approach of the Thacker Pass project situated in the vicinity.

Highlights of the acid leach testwork results include:

Alkali Salt Roasting

Jindalee Resources also evaluated alkali salt roasting in its 2021 Preliminary Scoping Study. The Company conducted a whole ore alkali salt (sulphation) roasting testwork on the McDermitt ore. The alkali salt roasting testwork results showed lithium phosphate (Li3PO4) with a 5.89% Li content from 0.15% Li, indicating a 40x increase in grade before purification. The same processing route was proposed for Ganfeng Lithium’s Sonora Lithium Project.

The testwork also revealed that 89.5% of lithium could be extracted using recycled salts from roasting and leaching, which has positive implications for reducing reagent usage. However, further analysis of the potential to implement beneficiation in the proposed sulphation roast flow sheet concluded that this process is not feasible.

Finalising of Lithium Extraction Method

In 2022, Fluor Corporation reviewed comprehensively all metallurgical testwork performed at the McDermitt by Jindalee. Three processing routes, alkali salt roasting, acid leaching (using H2SO4) without beneficiation, and acid leaching (using H2SO4) with beneficiation, were assessed for the McDermitt ore.

Financial modelling of three processing routes concluded that acid leaching with beneficiation enhances the leach head grade, provides the most economical operating costs and yields the most favourable financial outcome.

In addition, it was observed that the significant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at the McDermitt Project amounts to 21.5 million tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), which affords a degree of flexibility in the development process. It also provides an opportunity to optimise mining and feed high ore grades in the early mine life.

McDermitt Mineral Resource Estimate

Figure 1: Summary of 2023 McDermitt Mineral Resource Estimate

Jindalee Resources plans to quickly initiate the suggested metallurgical testwork proposed by Fluor to refine the preferred flowsheet.

Executive Director and CEO of Jindalee: Lindsay Dudfield

Executive Director and CEO of Jindalee Resources

Figure: 2 Mr Lindsey Dudfield, Executive Director and CEO of Jindalee Resources

Mr Lindsay Dudfield is a geologist with over 40 years of experience in multi-commodity exploration, primarily in Australia. He has held senior positions with the mineral divisions of Amoco (1977-1979) and Exxon (1980-1987) and actively delineated the Scuddles zinc copper mine at Golden Grove, WA.

In 1987, he became the founding Director of Dalrymple Resources NL. and led the next eight years helping the Company acquire and explore Dalrymple’s properties, leading to several greenfield discoveries.

Mr Dudfield has managed Jindalee Resources since its inception in 2002.

Mr Dudfield is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, the Geological Society of Australia, and the Society of Economic Geologists. He is also a Non-executive Director of Energy Metals Limited, Dynamic Metals Limited and Alchemy Resources Limited.

Investor Outlook

  • Jindalee Resources 100% owns the McDermitt Project, the largest lithium deposit in the USA
  • Jindalee’s primary objective is to advance the development of its McDermitt Tier 1 Lithium Deposit, with the ultimate goal of generating prosperity for its shareholders and for the USA
  • Further, Jindalee Resources will focus on the most economical operating costs and yield the most favourable financial outcome regarding its McDermitt ore
  • Jindalee Resources stock stands at AUD 2.360 per share price, with a market capitalisation of AUD 134.8 million as of March 24th, 2023

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