Separation rapids project

Lithium/Tantalum


The 267-hectare Separation Rapids Specialty Minerals Project is located 58 km north of Kenora, Ontario in the highly prospective English River greenstone belt, which hosts lithium, tantalum and cesium mineralization. The Property is situated immediately adjacent to the east of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.’s (formerly Avalon Rare Metals Inc.) Big Whopper property, one of the largest rare metal pegmatite deposits in the world.


In the Fall of 2018, Gossan conducted a 4-man field program at the Property. A detailed examination of the pegmatite zone which was identified in a 2009 program, showed that there were many more unmapped pegmatite outcrops in the zone.  The pegmatite outcrops, which appear to be on strike with the Big Whopper Pegmatite, were mapped and sampled with the best assay being 1.06% Li2O. Minor lepidolite was also noted in several locations.


During July 2009, the Company undertook a field program at the property that included prospecting, line cutting, local geological mapping of newly-found outcrops, and the collection of 173 soil samples, 28 grab samples and 10 channel samples. The program identified a 50m to 100m wide zone with multiple, east-west trending, sub-parallel pegmatite sill-like bodies that range in width from a few centimetres to more than 5 metres.


The soil sampling program utilized Soil Gas Hydrocarbon (SGH) Geochemistry that was analysed by Activation Laboratories (Actlabs) of Ancaster, Ontario. SGH is a deep penetrating geochemistry that allows for analysis from various types of media. Actlabs’ SGH analysis identified a strong Level 5 lithium anomaly below a peat bog approximately 100m east of, and along strike of, the most eastern exposures of the zone of pegmatites.


The demand for lithium is growing strongly due to the use of lithium minerals in battery-powered vehicles and other electrical storage devices.


On September 27, 2016 and October 25, 2016, Avalon announced the results of a NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Study (PEA) prepared under the oversight of Micon International Limited. The PEA investigated the potential for recovery of a lithium product suitable for the lithium battery market and the results confirm a technically viable process and positive economics for the recovery of a battery-grade lithium hydroxide product, along with a feldspar mineral concentrate. The PEA utilized an existing Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 8 million tonnes averaging 1.29% lithium oxide and 39% feldspar with an estimated total project capex at $514 million. Refer to SEDAR for details.

On July 18, 2017, Avalon announced the results of its Spring 2017 5-hole drill program to investigate lepidolite, which included two holes located between the eastern side of existing deposit and the claim border with Gossan’s ground, a distance of about 1000 metres. Both holes intersected pegmatite mineralization with visible petalite and/or lepidolite content. Gossan has 3 showings of lepidolite in outcrop along strike.


On February 23, 2018, Avalon announced that it had completed its Winter 2018 6-hole drill program. Two holes were drilled on the eastern side of the deposit, one of which encountered an approximate true width of 20 metres of mainly lepidolite-petalite mineralization.


On August 21, 2018, Avalon announced an updated PEA with a new staged development model that materially reduces the capital cost of the project to a phase 1 estimate of $77.7 million. The new model focuses on initial production of lithium mineral concentrates. The PEA was prepared by Micon International Limited. Avalon has also updated its Measured and Indicated Resource to 8.405 million tonnes at 1.408% Li2O. Refer to SEDAR for details.


Historically, the highest and best currently known use for material from the Separation Rapids Property was likely as an input to the glass industry. However Avalon has made material progress in approaching a higher and better use in the lithium battery market and other more valuable by-products. No major fieldwork is currently being planned at the Property by Gossan while we wait to assess the economic viability of various aspects of Avalon’s test work.