Aruma Resources begins third floatation test at Mt Deans Lithium Project in WA

ASX-listed minerals exploration company Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ) is conducting a third floatation test as part of ongoing metallurgical testwork at the Mt Deans Lithium Project in Western Australia.

The company reports the floatation test and subsequent gravity separation test is utilising samples that have not been reverse circulation (RC) drilled.

Aruma says pegmatite samples from outcrop at the project has been collected for this purpose and notes the next phase of testwork will begin immediately.

This testwork follows initial sighter testwork that aimed to establish what kind of products could be produced from pegmatites at the project, and provide a first step in a pathway to potential project development.

Aruma says 2 floatation tests were conducted, with initial results confirming a lithium concentrate can be produced with a concentrate grade of 3.1 times Li2O feed grade returned from the floatation tests. The company reports it achieved recoveries of 80% into 25% of the mass.

Additionally, Aruma reports the initial float result also delivered ‘promising’ upgrades relative to original feed grade for other metals including potassium, rubidium, caesium, tin, and tantalum. The program also highlighted the value of the tin and tantalum at Mt Deans, with both being able to be separated in the floatation process.

Aruma also reports the initial results have been delivered from testwork on pulverised RC drill chips, which the company acknowledges as being ‘sub-optimal’ for floatation testwork. The company anticipates that testwork using a crushed rock feed will deliver a ‘higher’ grade concentrate, and ‘higher’ recoveries.

“These sighter testwork results give us a great deal of confidence in the potential value we see at Mt Deans”

Commenting on the results, Aruma Resources Managing Director Glenn Grayson says: “These sighter testwork results give us a great deal of confidence in the potential value we see at Mt Deans. To deliver a first pass concentrate of 2.64% Li2O with another 0.6% Li2O in the slimes, provides us with confidence that floatation works and that Mt Deans could deliver a typical lepidolite concentrate of around 4% Li2O.

The upgrade of all metals from this early-stage testing shows us that further work to establish what may be achieved with the Mt Deans pegmatite is key to realising the project’s full potential.

Mt Deans was historically a tin mine in the 1940s, and a tantalum project 15 years ago. This, in conjunction with the potential lithium value, plus rubidium and caesium, makes Mt Deans a ‘high’ potential project for Aruma.”

Aruma reports the initial float test results achieved ‘high’ recoveries with 80% recovered in the first 2 concentrates. The second floatation test managed to increase the Li2O grades by an average of 3.1 times to a grade of up to 2.64% Li2O. Using a higher-grade sample of 1.2% Li2O may produce a flotation concentrate above 3.5%.

The company notes that rubidium grades are ‘high’ in concentrate, at close to 2% Rb2O. Potassium has been concentrated to 5.88%, which is almost a 3 times increase in grade.

Additionally, Aruma notes the de-slime contained lithium with a grade of 0.63% Li2O. Initial assumptions for this include RC drilling generated fines which reported to the de-slime overflow, and the fluids used by the drillers have affected how the micas have reacted to the reagents in the floatation.

Aruma Resources is an ASX-listed minerals exploration company developing a portfolio of prospective gold and lithium projects in Western Australia. The company’s projects include the Carter Well, Melrose, Saltwater, and Salmon Gums Gold projects, as well as the Mt Deans Lithium Project.

Mt Deans covers 1.44km-square in the Eastern Goldfields Terrane of the Yilgarn Craton. The project is located about 10km south of the mining town of Norseman, and it is considered prospective for lithium, tantalum, and rare earth elements.

Images: Aruma Resources Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.