Millennial Lithium Corp. Announces Commissioning of Lithium Carbonate Pilot Plant at its Pastos Grandes Project, Salta, Argentina
October 27, 2020
Millennial Lithium Corp. (ML: TSX.V) (A3N2:GR: Frankfurt) (MLNLF: OTCQB) (“Millennial” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that commissioning of its lithium carbonate pilot plant at the Company’s flagship Pastos Grandes Project is underway. The pilot plant, located adjacent to the Pastos Grandes Salar, is a full flowsheet design for producing up to 3 tonnes per month (tpm) of battery grade lithium carbonate. Pilot ponds, filled with brine pumped from the central part of Millennial’s Project and in operation from late 2018, are at the required concentration to provide lithium-rich brine concentrate to the pilot plant.
Farhad Abasov, President and CEO commented "Millennial is pleased to announce the commissioning of its pilot plant designed to produce up to 3 tpm of battery grade lithium carbonate. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and minor delays, the Millennial team has advanced the lithium concentration ponds and the pilot plant to the production stage. Evaporation ponds have been concentrating lithium and plant feed. The first stage of the plant, the Solvent Extraction (SX) unit to remove Boron (B) has been installed and tested. The first output of battery grade lithium carbonate is planned for Q4, 2020 marking another significant milestone for the Company. Millennial remains well funded and continues in its financing efforts to advance development of the Pastos Grandes Project. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and slowdowns the Company has continued progressing its work with a number of off-takers and strategic investors. We are well on track with all our corporate programs.”
The pilot plant is being fed with concentrated lithium-rich brine from the smaller feeder ponds which had reached a grade of 2.7% Li, and expected to reach the target 3% Li with naturally reduced impurities by the time the full flow sheet is commissioned. The onset of the spring high evaporation season in the puna of Salta accentuated by the beginning of the dry season has resulted in a marked increase in the Li concentration and natural precipitation and reduction of impurities in the full ponds system. Brine chemistry, particularly K, B, Ca, Mg, and SO4 concentrations, are in line with the process and plant design parameters.
The optimization of the pilot plant and trial runs indicate that all components are functioning as designed. The first phase of the process, the Solvent Extraction (SX) system to facilitate removal of Boron (B), is in progress. Minor pre-operational design adjustments to the brine purification carbonation reactors, filtering systems, the main lithium carbonate precipitation reactor, ion exchange (IX) and the CO2 purification system have been completed. In addition, Millennial has embarked on a significant staffing increase, including retaining experienced process engineers, supervisors and operators. It has also retained experienced health and safety supervisors as part of its strategy to train and educate operators and facilitate plant operation from installation and commissioning with the end-goal of providing fully qualified staff with insight into the full production process including future commercial operation. To further meet Health and Safety regulations additional extraction hoods and fire resistant components were fabricated and installed and a comprehensive Health, Safety and environmental protocol and training program has been implemented for all stages of the plant.
The initial production from the pilot plant will be achieved in batch mode to further test and optimize the individual stage processes prior to more efficiently transitioning to continuous flow production. Millennial anticipates completion of the first batch processing and production of battery grade lithium carbonate in Q4, 2020.
This news release has been reviewed by Iain Scarr, AIPG CPG., Chief Operating Officer of the Company and a Qualified Person as that term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.
To find out more about Millennial Lithium Corp. please contact Investor Relations at (604) 662-8184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MILLENNIAL LITHIUM CORP.
President, CEO and Director
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This news release may contain certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “target, “plan”, “forecast”, “may”, “schedule” and similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward-looking statements or information may relate to future prices of commodities, accuracy of mineral or resource exploration activity, reserves or resources, regulatory or government requirements or approvals including approvals of title and mining rights or licenses, the reliability of third party information, continued access to mineral properties or infrastructure, changes in laws, rules and regulations in Argentina which may impact upon the Company or its properties or the commercial exploitation of those properties, currency risks including the exchange rate of USD$ for Cdn$, fluctuations in the market for lithium, changes in exploration costs and government royalties, export policies or taxes in Argentina and other factors or information. The Company’s current plans, expectations and intentions with respect to development of its business and of the Pastos Grandes Project may be impacted by economic uncertainties arising out of Covid-19 pandemic or by the impact of current financial and other market conditions on its ability to secure further financing or funding of the Pastos Grandes Project. Such statements represent the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affections such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.