Anson Resources Limited (ASX: ASN) has announced a highly encouraging update on its Paradox Brine Project in USA.
The company reported that Veolia Water Technologies Inc. has successfully produced battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH.H2O) using brine from the Paradox Basin Brine Project.
ASN said that LiOH.H2O stage 2 crystallization test was successfully completed by Veolia Water Technologies, with composite sample grade of 56.2% LiOH dry crystal product.
The company said that this was produced from lithium hydroxide solution bulk sample.
This completes Anson’s lithium test work program, demonstrating successful production of battery grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.
ASN reported that the data from the bench scale testing will support the commercial process design for crystallizing battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate from Anson’s brine.
ASN said that samples were sent to potential off-take partners and end-users.
Paradox Basin brine project
Anson’s flagship project is its Paradox Basin Brine Project in Utah, USA.
The Paradox Brine Project consists of 1,317 placer claims, 87 (the ULI Claims) that are subject to an earn-in agreement and 1,230 (the A1 Lithium Claims) that are 100% owned by Anson.
In addition, one state oil and gas lease and a state mineral and industrial lease are included in the project area. Some of these claims are only 40 meters from a well with historical grades of 500 ppm lithium.
Anson commenced with a 10% interest in these 87 claims which increased to 50% from the work done, and may be subject finalization under the terms of the agreement to earn-into the ULI Project.
Using innovative direct lithium extraction technology and conventional flow sheets for all other processing, Anson plans to extract lithium from brine rapidly to produce high purity products. No evaporation ponds are required in the process, saving massively on CAPEX, OPEX, space, and processing time.
Anson is advancing the recovery and refinement of other chemicals to produce additional high value products from iodine, bromine and boron also contained in the brine. The recovery and processing of these chemicals would provide multiple revenue streams for Anson.
Lithium test work program completed
The company had recently appointed Veolia to conduct test work from lithium hydroxide solution using an innovative process. This has now been completed.
The lithium test work program involved multiple steps. First, a bulk brine sample was extracted from Anson’s Paradox Brine Project, which was then processed off site using direct lithium extraction technology to produce lithium chloride.
After that, Lithium chloride was concentrated; and Lithium hydroxide solution and chlorine gas were produced using electrolysis eliminating the traditional intermediate step of first producing lithium carbonate before producing lithium hydroxide.
Two products produced
The company reported that two products were produced from the lithium hydroxide solution, battery quality lithium carbonate (Li2CO3); and battery grade LiOH.H2O using Veolia’s two stage patented production process, the “HPD evaporation and crystallization technology”.
It may be noted that Anson had successfully produced lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) with a purity of 99.9% from the lithium hydroxide solution earlier.
Battery-grade Lithium produced
The company reported that the grade of the composite sample was 56.2% LiOH in dry crystal product.
Anson said that the lithium hydroxide monohydrate exhibits a typical crystal habit. The crystal d50 was on average 600 microns which is within the range expected by Veolia based upon experience.
The company announced that the sample product from this test work has been sent to potential off-take partners and end users for their consideration.
A major milestone
The company announced that the completion of this test work by Veolia represents a significant achievement milestone in the development of the Paradox Brine Project, being the completion of the lithium test work development program.
Over the past twelve months, Anson successfully advanced from the production of small laboratory samples to the production of bulk samples of lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide monohydrate using equipment from companies that are capable of providing commercial sized equipment, providing a pathway to scalable production and an understanding of the capex and opex required for these plants using newly developed technology.
The company reported that a unique production flow diagram (PFD) has been developed which provides the capability to produce both lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide from a common eluate. This provides flexibility to respond to changing market demands.
Testwork for extraction of bromine
The company announced that it has also conducted test work for the extraction of bromine from the Paradox brines up to pilot plant scale.
Anson reported that it plans to extract the bromine from the Paradox brines prior to the extraction of lithium as the first stage of its multi-mineral/multi-revenue stream strategy, taking advantage of its unique brine that contains lithium, bromine, iodine, and boron.
The company noted that the process to extract bromine using equipment is well understood and as a result the production risk is low.
Revenue to finance development of plant
ASN said that the revenue from the bromine production will be used to finance the development of the lithium production plant, addressing a major issue faced by junior lithium projects that plan to use new lithium processing technology.
Commercial scale plant to be designed
With the completion of this test work, Anson said that it is now able to design a plant that is capable of producing both battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate and lithium carbonate from lithium hydroxide solution providing product flexibility to meet future market demand changes.
The company announced that the Paradox Brine Project is developing from exploration and test work to the next stage of production plant development assessment and economic viability.
ASN said that the data generated throughout the entire flowsheet for bromine and lithium is being fed into the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) / pre-feasibility study (PFS) which has already commenced. Once this has been completed, Anson expects to progress to the next stage of going into production.