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Standard Lithium provides update on Bristol Dry Lake, Mojave, California

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Standard Lithium Ltd. has provided an update on the exploration and process testing programme at the company’s Bristol Dry Lake lithium brine project located in the Mojave Desert, California. 

Building on the promising results of its recently completed large-scale geophysical surveys, the company has commenced a resource definition drill programme on its approximately 25 000 acre Bristol Dry Lake lithium brine project. The objectives of the intrusive exploration programme are to establish the lithium grade of the subsurface brine across Standard’s extensive landholdings within the large salar; to determine depth and lateral extent of the brine; and also to define key geological and hydrogeological data that will be required in order to develop a maiden resource estimate. The company has received all required permits and approvals from Federal and County regulators to conduct the exploration drilling programme. Two drill rigs have commenced work on site and the company’s team of senior geologists and hydrogeologists are supervising all work.

In addition to the geophysical and intrusive exploration programs, the company has collected and shipped bulk raw brine samples from Bristol Dry Lake to several leading lithium brine assessment and process technology firms across North America. These firms have begun a series of lab-scale process testing studies of the Bristol Dry Lake brine and will begin determining the most efficient and effective process technologies to optimise lithium recovery from this important US mineral brine bearing resource. The company has also completed preliminary evaporation pond process testing work at the Bristol Dry Lake project site. The initial test work consisted of taking raw brines gathered from near-surface test pits (depth to lithium brine at the project is typically 5 - 20 ft (1.5 - 6 m)) and pumping the brine into three shallow plastic-lined ponds that were partially buried to avoid heating effects on the walls of the ponds.  Brine samples and field parameters were taken on a weekly schedule, and samples were sent for chemical analysis to a qualified laboratory in Sparks, NV. The data from this first round of evaporation pond testing showed that the raw brine pumped from the near-surface test-pit contained an average concentration of 146 mg/L lithium, and that within a period of four weeks, the brine was concentrated by passive solar evaporation to an average lithium concentration of 556 mg/L (max. 717 mg/L). These short-duration evaporation tests will be repeated several times throughout the year, so that seasonal effects can be quantified. Data developed from this short-duration evaporation pond work will be incorporated into the ongoing process-testing work being conducted by leading North American process technology firms. 

Standard Lithium’s President and COO, Dr. Andy Robinson commented:

“Standard’s exploration and process-testing programmes are now fully underway and being completed in parallel by our highly experienced resource assessment and chemical engineering teams. The amount of work that we’ve been able to complete in such a short period of time is evidence of our fast-track development philosophy, and speaks volumes to the constructive relationships that we have in place with the existing fully-permitted brine producers in operation at Bristol Dry Lake. All of the work being completed right now will be used to support the maiden 43-101 resource estimate for the Bristol Dry Lake lithium brine project, estimated for the first half of 2018”.

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