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Tantalex Lithium Resources Corp
Symbol TTX
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Tantalex produces 6%+ Li2O concentrate at Manono

2022-09-13 11:55 ET - News Release

Mr. Eric Allard reports

TANTALEX LITHIUM ACHIEVES 6+% LI2O SPODUMENE CONCENTRATE GRADE IN HLS METALLURGICAL TEST WORK ON THE K-DUMP FOR THE MANONO TAILINGS RECLAMATION PROJECT, DRC

Tantalex Lithium Resources Corp. has released the results of the metallurgical test work on a 331-kilogram composite bulk sample (subsample of the approximately two-tonne sample taken from drill hole locations MDC047, MDC056 and MDC 064) collected from the K-dump at the Manono reclamation project located in the Tanganyika province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Mineralogical analysis indicated that nearly all the lithium is contained in spodumene. It was further determined that cassiterite is the only tin-bearing mineral, and, in the case of tantalum, the overwhelming majority occurs as tantalite with low concentrations of tapiolite.

Highlights:

  • Heavy liquid separation (HLS) tests on a two-tonne bulk sample taken from the K-dump produced a 6-per-cent-plus Li2O (lithium oxide) spodumene concentrate at four different size classifications:
    • HLS tests produced a 6.5-per-cent Li2O spodumene concentrate at overall lithium recoveries exceeding 60 per cent.
    • Iron content of plus or minus 1.3 per cent in final spodumene concentrate to be reduced further with magnetic separation in phase 2 test work.
    • HLS testing is the industry-standard lab-bench-scale testing to establish if physical metallurgy will be sufficient to beneficiate mineral deposits into saleable concentrates.
  • In the K-dump, Li2O, tin and tantalum are evenly distributed across the different size fraction from minus five millimetres to plus 45 micrometres. Lithium recoveries increased with size fraction while tin and tantalum had improved recoveries in the finer fractions which indicated that the tin and tantalum required further liberation to improve recoveries.
  • Upstream classification, dense media separation (DMS) and gravity concentration technologies will be evaluated during the phase 2 test work program to design the optimal plant for lithium, tin and tantalum extraction.

The HLS tests have resulted in 6-per-cent-plus Li2O spodumene concentrates at high lithium recoveries exceeding 60 per cent and an iron content of approximately 1.3 per cent Fe2O3 (iron oxide) without conducting any magnetic separation on the concentrate produced. Although HLS results are only an indication of a DMS circuit's performance in operation, the results indicate that DMS will be applicable to the project's flow sheet as a primary driver for lithium recovery in the coarse fraction. Additional conventional technologies will be tested to establish the optimal beneficiation of the minus-0.5-millimetre fraction.

A summary of HLS test work results for the K-dump can be seen in the attached table. It is important to note that the current test campaign only focused on primary upgrades of tin and tantalum.

A primary reason for the strong HLS results is the coarse-grained nature of the spodumene at the K-dump, which allows for strong liberation of the spodumene with no crushing required as the in situ material is 99 per cent minus five millimetres. What this means for the company is that the coarse-fraction spodumene can be processed using the most conventional mineral processing technique in the industry without any additional crushing/grinding required. The cut density can also be lowered from 2.95 tonnes per cubic metre, which was utilized in the test work to improve recoveries while maintaining SC6 grade.

In the K-dump, Li2O, tin and tantalum are evenly distributed across the different size fractions from 45 micrometres to greater than 1.2 millimetres. A low amount of Li2O, tin and tantalum reported to the ultrafine size fraction (minus 45 micrometres).

The HLS test work indicates that there is potential to opt for a phased approach in constructing the plant by firstly beneficiating the coarse fraction in a robust cost-effective way while expanding the process facility at a latter stage to recover the fine valuable material.

Hannes Miller, chief operating officer, commented: "The results from this initial test work is encouraging given it is dump material. The asset has very little mining cost associated with it, and producing a marketable product with a robust well-known process is strongly preferred to a flotation-only operation. Dense media separation (DMS) is a less complicated process to operate, more cost-effective and may be commissioned over a significantly shorter time frame. I look forward to the results of the planned phase 2 metallurgical test work."

The metallurgical test program was completed by CoreMet Mineral Processing in South Africa. The program included head characterization and HLS test work to develop appropriate beneficiation methods. The full report will be released in the near future, which includes the test work results for the C-dump and the G-dump.

The phase II test work will include a DMS, gravity, upstream classification and flotation test run utilizing the remaining bulk sample. The primary objective is to confirm the HLS results as well as to refine the mineral processing flow sheet for the project. The coarse fraction is expected to be processed through a DMS circuit, with the DMS middlings and fines fraction (minus 0.5 millimetre) processed through a gravity circuit to recover the tin-bearing and tantalum-bearing minerals while the tailings will undergo flotation test work to establish the full potential that can be achieved on the K-dump. Further work will include magnetic separation and upstream classification to remove impurities in the spodumene concentrate.

Qualified person

The scientific and technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Gary Pearse, MSc, PEng, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

About Tantalex Lithium Resources Corp.

Tantalex is an exploration-stage and development-stage mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and distribution of lithium, tin, tantalum and other high-technology mineral properties in Africa. The corporation is listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange (symbol: TTX), Frankfurt Stock Exchange (symbol: DW8) and OTCQB Venture Market (symbol TTLXF).

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