HLM Advances Toward Proof Of Concept With Bulk Sampling Program On The Pak Lithium Project
Sudbury, Ontario – March 23, 2015 – Houston Lake Mining Inc. (TSX.V: HLM), HLM has commenced the next phase of determining the potential for commercializing the PAK deposit by bulk sampling the lithium zone of the pegmatite. The preparation of the 300t (approx.) bulk sample will be completed by the end of March 2015. The objectives are to evaluate production of spodumene-bearing product as a precursor to potential commercial scale spodumene concentrate production, to test the suitability of the product for direct use as a replacement for lithium mineral concentrates, test blasting parameters and mining logistics with existing haulage infrastructure. The scope of a future Pre-feasibility Study will be shaped by the results of this phase of testing.
The results of the 2013 and 2014 exploration programs on the PAK Lithium Project’s property, point to the deposit having the potential to be developed as a commercial supplier of technical grade lithium minerals. HLM is pursuing this potential with the aim of taking the PAK Lithium Project to market during the coming 3-5 years.
The characteristics of the high grade spodumene-bearing product comprising the Upper Intermediate Zone (“UIZ”) indicate there is potential for near term extraction of product from the zone that is suitable for use in traditional technical applications for spodumene concentrates (such as production of ceramics, frit, glass and glass ceramic). Production of this crushed and ground product without up-grading by flotation or gravity separation (Direct Shipping Ore “DSO”) could provide HLM with a source of useful revenue at low capital cost during the preparation of the Pre-feasibility and Feasibility Studies for the construction of a concentrator facility.
The key needs of the technical lithium users are low iron to lithia analysis ratio to avoid colouration of glass and glazes, consistent product analysis and particle size, and competitive cost. The lithium zone from which the bulk sample was extracted appears to have the pertinent mineralogical and chemical characteristics so it will be pilot-tested to validate the data that support these observations.
The sample has been collected by surface trenching of an area in the UIZ where there is discontinuous, limited overburden (.5m) cover. The sample has been shipped from the property, and sample processing and transportation is expected to commence in the next few weeks.
The 2015 program for the PAK Lithium Project includes:
- the collection of approximately 300 tonnes bulk sample from the Pakeagama Lake (PAK) pegmatite
- commercial evaluation of the sample product
- assessing the viability of interim DSO production
- scoping and commencing the Pre-feasibility Study
“The bulk sample is the next step in HLM’s goal of becoming a fully integrated lithium, tantalum and rubidium producer by first establishing the ability of the Pakeagama Lake pegmatite deposit to produce a technical grade quality spodumene product for use in production of specialty glass and ceramics”, commented Trevor Walker, President of HLM. “The initial targeting of this lithium market segment is a logical introduction (based on low capital expenditure) of our long term strategy of supplying a wide range of rare metal products used in “green technology” applications. Spodumene helps the specialty glass and ceramics sector achieve efficiencies that reduce consumption of fossil fuels, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Further “green” uses would be lithium compounds required for the electrification of transportation and other energy storage applications.”
Mr. Peter J. Vanstone, P.Geo., is an independent “Qualified Person” to HLM defined under NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release.