PepinNini Minerals (ASX: PNN) has delivered ‘very strong’ interim results from a lithium brine blending study using brine from the company’s Rincon and Salar de Incahuasi projects in Argentina.
PNN reports that after eight weeks of testing, a lithium ion concentration of 8,500 mg/kg was achieved for the blended brine, which represents a level 14 times that of Incahuasi brine, and seven times that of Rincon brine.
preliminary results suggest that the brine blending process is viable and highly effective
For perspective, concentrate from Orocobre’s (ASX:ORE) Olaroz project, located 100km north, had previously achieved 7,000 mg/kg.
The company notes that while testing has another month to complete, the preliminary results suggest that the brine blending process is viable and highly effective.
The study process, which is being carried-out in Chile, involved pouring 4,000 litres of brine into testing ponds lined with plastic liners to mimic an environment similar to that of the project area in Argentina: high elevation, low rainfall, average temperature of 15°C, and high evaporation rate.
PepinNini noted that the blending of brine from Rincon, which has a high concentration of sulphate, with the brine from Incahuasi, which has a high concentration of calcium, avoided the precipitation of lithium sulphate and reduced the calcium content.
Pilot testing is set to ramp-up as PepinNini works to achieve battery-grade lithium carbonate samples.
Images: PepinNini Minerals Ltd