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Froth flotation testing underway on Infinity Lithium's San Jose project ores

Positive test work results for Infinity lithium project

Infinity Lithium says that recent metallurgical beneficiation test work completed on 80kg of a representative sample from its San Jose lithium project in Spain has produced positive results and replicated the ore upgrades it achieved in 2018’s Scoping Study.

The company has appointed Perth-based Wave International as the lead consultant to deliver the PFS for the intriguing project, that contains lithium in mica minerals rather than conventional spodumene-dominated ore deposits.

The recent results from the Stage 1 testing are all the more impressive because the 2018 work was completed on a much smaller sample of the San Jose ores.

The test work constitutes Stage 1 of Infinity’s proposed flowsheet design for treating the mined San Jose ore stream, which enhances the raw product through beneficiation to a Stage 2 “roast and leach” phase, before the final Stage 3, that purifies and crystallises the valuable lithium hydroxide product for sale into the battery manufacturing sector.

The beneficiation stage follows crushing and milling of the ore product to an appropriate size, before froth flotation testing effectively liberates and concentrates the lithium mica minerals for the Stage 2 phase of processing.

The company said that Stage 2 hydrometallurgical testing is now underway at ALS Laboratories in Perth, who have been charged with developing the “sulphate-roast-water-leach”, or “SRWL”, flowsheet to a PFS standard.

In October last year, Infinity said that preliminary work completed for Stage 2 in the Scoping Study produced excellent recoveries exceeding 90% lithium.

The PFS technical work and related studies are forging ahead, following an increase of Infinity’s ownership of the San Jose lithium project to 75% outlined in March, with the PFS due for delivery in June or July this year.

With regard to the recent positive results from the Stage 1 test work, Wave International Director Ryan Hanrahan said: “The confirmation of the Scoping Study beneficiation recoveries and grades is an encouraging first major milestone for the San Jose PFS.”

“These results provide a solid platform on which to progress the PFS engineering and ongoing metallurgical test work. As a team, we are excited to be supporting INF to take the next step in de-risking the San Jose project and progressing towards development.”

The San Jose project is ideally placed geographically to satisfy the increasing European demand for battery-grade lithium hydroxide to support local manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, or “LIB”, for the electric vehicle, or “EV”, sector and potential domestic energy storage considerations.

The ultimate goal for Infinity is to take advantage of the varied European Government and private sector operators that are seeking to develop a LIB manufacturing hub in this increasingly EV obsessed part of the world.

The San Jose project holds a JORC compliant mineral resource of 111.3 million tonnes grading 0.61% lithium oxide and 206 parts per million tin, with enough product to underpin an initial 24-year project life, according to last November’s Scoping Study.

The outstanding results from that study gave the company and its in-country JV partner Valoriza Mineria great momentum in Spain and their timing looks spot on to take full advantage of the lucrative opportunity on offer from the emerging LIB industry in Europe.

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