Hawkstone Mining Ltd (ASX:HWK) has appointed Hazen Research Inc to perform metallurgical test-work on the lithium-mineralised sedimentary material from the Big Sandy Lithium Project in Arizona to produce battery-grade 99.8% lithium carbonate.
The environmentally compliant hydrometallurgical process that Hazen will evaluate involves sulphuric acid leaching, purification and production of 99.8% lithium carbonate for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and generation-scale storage to back up renewable energy production.
Initial outcomes from the metallurgical test-work should be available within two to three months.
Metallurgical Test Work
Tenders were called from R&D companies with proven experience in lithium processing to undertake metallurgical test work on lithium-mineralised sediments from the Big Sandy Project and establish a viable process route for the production of battery-grade 99.8% lithium carbonate (Li2CO3).
Hazen was chosen to complete the test work, having previously completed test work for Lithium Americas, ioneer Ltd, Lake Resources and Cypress Development Corp.
A 50 kilograms sample of mineralised drill core from the 2019 drill campaign has been dispatched with results expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Preliminary engineering studies have started
The test-work will be used by Hazen to develop a feasible and economic processing route leading to pilot-scale testing.
Initial metallurgical test-work completed by KCA demonstrated the lithium-bearing sedimentary material to be readily recoverable via a simple acid leaching and hydrometallurgical chemical process that has minimal air emissions.
Preliminary engineering studies have started, and the company’s Phoenix-based engineers will evaluate process routes, supply chain optimisation, possible mining and processing scenarios, as well as establishing contacts within the local, State and Federal governments.
Baseline environmental and cultural surveys forming part of the Plan of Exploration (POE) process have been completed, and the POE will enable further drilling to extend the known resource to the north and south.