Vancouver, B.C. December 6, 2017: International Lithium Corp. (the “Company” or “ILC”) (TSX VENTURE: ILC) is pleased to announce that it has received a report prepared by Geos Mining Minerals Consultants of Australia (“Geos”) through ILC’s joint venture partner, Mariana Lithium Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. The report summarizes results from trial pump tests conducted in September 2017 at Salar de Llullaillaico, location of the Mariana lithium brine joint venture project (“Mariana”) in Salta, Argentina. The trial tests are part of ongoing pump tests to be completed at three locations on the project. A conclusion from the trial pump test report states, “A step-drawdown test pumped at three (3) rates of between 10 and 30 litres per second (“L/s”) indicated a high transmissivity, hydraulic conductivity and storativity.” The ultimate goal for these ongoing tests is to carry out long term pumping at a constant rate of 60 L/s at three sites within the resource area. The Company will provide further updates on the progress of these tests.
The study results from the Geos report are summarized below:
- Litio Minera Argentina SA conducted trial pump tests on bore MA17-20PW, located in the Mariana Project western Salar de Llullaillaco resource area during September 2017. An exploratory aquifer test with observation bores was conducted to provide: training and understanding to staff, preliminary aquifer drawdown and response assessment, plus a step-drawdown test to provide information on well efficiency.
- Initially a constant rate test utilising five observation bores was conducted for a five hour period pumping at 30.4 L/s. Minor drawdown was observed in observation bores monitoring both higher and lower parts of the aquifer system. No drawdown was observed in more distal observation bores.
- The lack of drawdown in shallower observation bores, plus the one deeper observation bore MA17-20A, indicates that the pumped aquifer at the level of MA17-20B is acting in a nearly confined manner, and there was minimal interaction over the short pumped time period with overlying or underlying aquifers.
- A step-drawdown test pumped at 3 rates of between 10 and 30 L/s indicated a high transmissivity, hydraulic conductivity and storativity.
Whilst no modelling of the drawdown from the trial pumping tests was undertaken, preliminary graphical analysis suggests the salar interlayered and intercalated sedimentary package makes up an interconnected leaky aquifer system at site MA17-20PW. This aquifer system has a very high transmissivity, high hydraulic conductivity and a significant storativity.
“The ongoing confirmation that the aquifers at Salar de Llullaillaco can sustain extending pumping are complimentary to our goals of achieving a positive production decision through upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment and Feasibility Studies,” commented Kirill Klip, Executive Chairman of ILC, “These tests pave the way for us to determine the best technology and economic scenario to advance our Mariana Lithium joint venture project.”
At Mariana, the current focus for lithium extraction is to determine the break points of contaminants such as magnesium and sulphate in the natural evaporation process in order to define the timing of the liming process. Large quantities of lime and other reagents needed to neutralize the brine chemistry to prevent the loss of lithium through precipitation during the evaporation concentration process generally tend to have a severe negative impact on the economics of lithium brine operations.
In its news release of September 5, 2017, the Company released results of an early study regarding the utlilization of membrane technology to produce a much higher valued lithium product. The adoption of alternative technologies such as described in the September 5, 2017 news release have potential to provide an alternative to the currently adopted plan of using natural solar evaporation to produce a brine concentrate that would be exported to China for further refining.
The Mariana Lithium joint venture partners are currently reviewing options for the 2018 budget year that are aimed at accelerating the project through the studies required to prove economic viability.
Afzaal Pirzada, P.Geo., a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information or forward-looking statements in this news release include: the timing and anticipated results of environmental impact studies and pump tests, timing of preliminary economic studies on the Mariana project, the expectation of feasibility studies, lithium recoveries, modelling of capital and operating costs, and the Company’s continued interest in the Mariana project. Such forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those discussed in the sections entitled “Risks” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in the interim and annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis which are available at www.sedar.com. While management believes that the assumptions made are reasonable, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Should one or more of the risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking information. Forward-looking information herein, and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on expectations, estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made that, while considered reasonable by the Company as of the time of such statements, are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. These estimates and assumptions may prove to be incorrect and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.