Rhyolite Ridge is a large, shallow lithium-boron deposit located close to existing infrastructure in southern Nevada, USA and owned 100% by Global Geoscience.
The outcropping deposit is amenable to open pit mining at low strip ratios. High-grade lithium-boron mineralisation is the focus of the Rhyolite Ridge Pre-Feasibility Study (”PFS”) as it represents potentially the highest value material combined with a low-cost, simple processing route.
The Project lies 25km west of Albermarle’s Silver Peak lithium mine and 340km from the Tesla Gigafactory near Reno.
Lithium and boron can be readily leached from the Rhyolite Ridge host rock using dilute sulphuric acid, which differentiates Rhyolite Ridge from other sediment-hosted lithium deposits. This is due to the low-clay, low-carbonate and high-searlesite (boron) content of the rock, which make the mineralisation amenable to low-cost acid leaching at ambient temperature and pressure.
Metallurgical testwork has indicated high lithium-boron recoveries should be achievable using straight-forward, conventional processing technology.
The proposed flowsheet produces lithium carbonate and boric acid at the mine site.
The Rhyolite Ridge Mineral Resource contains a total of 4.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate and 11.9 million tonnes of boric acid - already the largest lithium-boron Mineral Resource in North America.
Further drilling is likely to increase this initial resource as the estimate is for only 10% of the area of the two prospective basins at Rhyolite Ridge.
Rhyolite Ridge has strong project fundamentals due to the following key advantages:
- Large deposit = Long mine life
- Shallow, thick & flat lying = Low strip ratio
- Soft ore and waste rock = Low-cost mining and milling
- Amenable to acid-leaching = No roasting or new technology
- High recoveries with low acid consumption = Low-cost processing
- Lithium and Boron products = Two revenue streams
Key advantages include:
- Nevada location: one of the world’s most favourable and stable mining jurisdictions and home to the USA’s burgeoning electric vehicle industry. Nevada has well-developed infrastructure and skilled mining workforce
- Unique mineralogy which distinguish it from other sedimentary lithium deposits and allow for a simple, low-cost acid leach extraction process. Unlike sedimentary clay deposits, no roasting or calcining is required
- Unlike pegmatite (spodumene, mica) deposits, no high-temperature conversion is required to produce lithium carbonate.
- Dual revenue streams from lithium and boron
- Simple ownership – 100% Global Geoscience with no private royalties
- Large Mineral Resource containing 137 million tonnes of high-grade lithium boron mineralisation within a total Resource (Indicated & Inferred) of 460 million tonnes
- PFS stage - mining studies in progress, engineering studies about to commence
- Management and technical team with proven track record in the development and delivery of lithium and boron projects
- Ideally positioned to supply the lithium and boron markets in the USA and Asia
- Potential long-term US domestic supplier of lithium – a designated critical mineral
The Rhyolite Ridge PFS is likely to confirm the project’s strong potential to become a cost-competitive, major producer of lithium carbonate and boric acid.