Millennial Lithium Corp (TSXV:ML) (OTCQB:MLNLF) on Monday provided an update on its technical programs at its Pastos Grandes lithium brine project in Salta, Argentina and said it expects an updated resource estimate early in the first quarter.
“We are very pleased with the progress in all facets of our development plan at Pastos Grandes,” said Farhad Abasov, Millenial’s CEO in a statement. “Our expansion drilling program continues to enlarge and optimize the footprint of the lithium-bearing brine and we expect an updated resource estimate in early Q1 of 2019.”
The pilot ponds are concentrating the lithium brine at the site via solar evaporation and the design and introduction of the pilot processing plant are also underway. The company’s definitive feasibility study is still set to be completed in the second quarter of 2019, noted Abasov.
Drill program update
Two drill rigs are now active on the Remsa license, a portion of the Pastos Grandes Project, which is testing the extension of the lithium-bearing brine acquifer. Additional geophysical surveys have also been used to determine the extension of the lithium-bearing brine to the west of the Remsa license. And preliminary results from this survey show potential for additional brine further into the Remsa license portion of the Pastos Grandes project.
“A drill rig will be mobilized to collar PGMW19-21 on the western edge of the Remsa license and drilling will begin early in 2019,” according to Millenial.
Pilot Ponds filled with brine from pumping well PGPW17-4 in late September of 2018 are concentrating lithium in preparation for lime treatment to reduce magnesium content in the brine. Brine is being transferred to isolated smaller ponds as part of the evaporation concentration and purification process, preparing the concentrate feed to the Pilot Processing plant.
The pilot liming plant construction has been completed and will be commissioned early in the first quarter of 2019. This will allow for the liming of the brine, eliminating the majority of the contained magnesium in preparation for feeding the processing plant.
Pilot processing plant
Millennial is developing a pilot processing plant designed to produce three tonnes per month of lithium carbonate utilizing concentrated brine from the pilot ponds on the salar. The plant engineering and design work, as well as the installation and commissioning of the plant, is being handled by WorleyParsons Chile.
Pumping Test Wells
Long-term pumping tests were completed at production well PGPW17-4 over a 23-day period from Sept. 7-30th 2018. Data and results of this program are currently being compiled and the final report is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2019.
The drilling and development of production and test wells PGPW18-17 and PGPW18-15 are underway. ML has contracted a second drilling company to increase productivity.
Additional ground geophysics is in progress on the western portion of the Remsa license and extending west onto the adjacent license held by Millennial. The first interpretations suggest the continuity of brine-bearing sediments on the western edge of the Remsa license and further west. An exploration well (PGMW19-21) is planned for early this year to test the potential for lithium-bearing brine in this region.
Infrastructure improvements at the site are ongoing and the residence camp construction has been completed recently. The all-weather camp consists of modules to house 40 to 60 people, supporting infrastructure for the on-site laboratory and training plant. The energy engineering firm ERGY Solar has been hired to construct a hybrid power plant at the camp-site which will provide power for the camp as well as the training plant and laboratory. Millennial has also broken ground on the Pastos Grandes community center and warehouse. "This work is central to our community relations and engagement with the people of Pastos Grandes and is being well received," Millennial said.
Definitive Feasibility Study
WorleyParsons Chile is progressing with the Company's Pastos Grandes Definitive Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study remains on schedule for completion in the second quarter of this year.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Ausenco-Vector has been engaged to complete the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Exploitation stage of the project. Millennial and WorleyParsons are in the process of providing data and project information to Ausenco to allow for the completion of the report. Ausenco says the report will be ready for submission to government officials in the first quarter for approval in either the second or third quarter of 2019.
Millennial Lithium shares jumped 7.14% to C$1.35 in Monday’s morning trading session.
Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]