Avalon begins works for demo plant at Separation Rapids lithium project

The Separation Rapids lithium deposit. Credit: Avalon Advanced Materials.

Avalon Advanced Materials (TSX: AVL; OTC: AVLNF) has commenced road work and site preparations for the installation and commissioning of its demonstration dense media separation (DMS) plant for the Separation Rapids lithium project located 70 km north of Kenora, Ont.

The work is being done at the Avalon quarry site along the Avalon road to the Separation Rapids project. The Avalon quarry is a permitted aggregate quarry located approximately 7 km south of the project site. Aggregate for the road work will be produced at the quarry as part of an initiative to prepare the road for heavy equipment transport and to prepare the site for the DMS plant installation.

The aggregate production, road repairs, site preparation, and bulk sample crushing and hauling are being done by SOW Construction, a joint venture between Moncrief Construction, a large Kenora-based construction contractor, and Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, in whose traditional territory the project is located. The work is expected to be completed later this summer.

The 5,000-tonne bulk sample collected from the project site in 2021 will now be crushed and returned to the quarry site as initial feed for the DMS plant to begin producing petalite concentrate product samples for the many international glass-ceramic manufacturers that have expressed interest. The plant will also be used to produce potential by-products including rubidium-bearing potassic feldspars, which are also used in certain ceramic applications. Installation of the demonstration DMS facility is expected to begin this fall with the plant expected to be operational by spring 2023.

Meanwhile, Avalon continues to progress towards acquisition of an industrial site in Thunder Bay that would be the location for establishing the company’s planned regional lithium battery materials refinery. An appropriate site has been identified and an offer made with the acquisition expected to be completed in September, once debt financing has been arranged.

Separation Rapids is one of four advanced-stage projects currently held by Avalon, whose aim is to develop sustainably produced materials for clean technology. At Separation Rapids, the company believes there is potential to produce high-purity lithium compounds for two distinct markets: an industrial mineral product for glass-ceramics and lithium chemicals for energy storage.

The project currently hosts what Avalon calls one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world, hosting measured and indicated resources of 8.12 million tonnes grading 1.37% lithium oxide and 0.36% rubidium oxide.

Additional details on the project can be found at www.avalonadvancedmaterials.com.

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