Vancouver, Canada, February 25, 2020 – Leading Edge Materials Corp. (“Leading Edge Materials” or the “Company“) (TSXV: LEM) (OTCQB: LEMIF) (Nasdaq First North: LEMSE) is pleased to announce completion of a comprehensive mineralogical and mineral liberation study on lithium-tantalum mineralized drill core from the 100% owned Bergby lithium project in central Sweden. The work was undertaken by Outotec Oyj at their Pori Research Centre in Finland and funded by EIT Raw Materials under the LiRef project.
Mark Saxon, Interim President and CEO, stated “This recent mineralogy and liberation study, funded by EIT Raw Materials, has highlighted that lithium at Bergby is hosted in lithium minerals that are currently used for lithium chemical production. This is a promising result for future processing. Bergby was first discovered by Leading Edge Materials in 2017, and both the project and the region have high potential for additional lithium discovery.
The EIT Raw Materials funded LiRef project is focused on improving European access to sustainable and locally sourced lithium for batteries, and we are very pleased to have Bergby identified as a potential future supplier to the rapidly growing lithium ion battery industry.
We look forward to meeting shareholders and other industry participants at the upcoming PDAC conference in Toronto to discuss all Leading Edge Materials activities in the European critical raw materials sector.”
Leading Edge Materials management will be attending the Prospectors and Developers (“PDAC“) conference in Toronto commencing 1st March 2020. The Company can be found at Booth 2941 in the Investors Exchange, or a meeting can be scheduled by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mapping and sampling of the Bergby exploration license from 2016 located numerous angular lithium-mineralized pegmatitic and aplitic boulders. Thirty-three drill holes were subsequently completed by Leading Edge Materials to a maximum depth of 131.1m over an approximate 1500m strike length, with drill intersections including 8.2m @ 2.06% Li2O; 10.45m @ 1.58% Li2O; 8.75m @ 2.63% Li2O; 18.8m @ 1.14% Li2O; and 19.45m @ 1.12% Li2O (see press release dated 10th Jan 2018). Pegmatite hosted lithium mineralization drilled to date lies very close to surface, extends from the outcrop beneath thin glacial soil cover and remains open at depth.
Approximately 180kg of lithium-mineralized pegmatite was collected and composited from Bergby drill core. The sample was crushed, ground and sieved into various size fractions for chemical and mineralogical analysis. Chemical analysis indicated the bulk sample represented drilled intervals adequately and contained:
1.21% Li2O, 115 ppm Ta2O5, 68.4% SiO2, 15.2% Al2O3, 4.0% Na2O, 1.75% K2O
The composite mineralogy of the pegmatite sample indicated a weight percent mineral distribution of:
35.2% albite, 26.2% quartz, 10.6% spodumene, 7.2% K-feldspar, 4.9% muscovite, 4.8% petalite, 2.7% epidote, 2.3% tourmaline, 1.3% amphibole
Spodumene is the principal lithium-bearing mineral within the Bergby composite sample. Using SEM data and Outotec’s HSC Geo module, the spodumene is seen to carry 71.4% of total lithium, followed by petalite carrying 18.2%, cookeite (4.7%), eucryptite (3.1%) and LiMnFe-phosphates (2.1%). Having approximately 90% of lithium within spodumene and petalite is a pleasing result, as both are traditional lithium source minerals with substantial overlap in process pathways.
The degree of liberation degree of spodumene and petalite was studied to determine optimal grind conditions. Spodumene liberation was good when the particle size is finer than 212µm, while efficient liberation of petalite requires grinding to below 150µm. The main binary mineral associated with spodumene and petalite is quartz and recommended grinding size for high lithium recovery is a P80 of 150µm.
Albite and quartz are both well-liberated even when the sample is only ground to 1.18mm. This is a promising result and suggests potential for both minerals to be saleable industrial products alongside lithium and tantalum.
The EIT Raw Materials funded LiRef project project seeks to validate two spodumene conversion processes with the aim to develop one robust and flexible process transforming spodumene concentrate into battery grade lithium chemical. It aims to foster the development of a sustainable European value chain. The partners include four mining companies (Savannah Resources, Leading Edge, Keliber and European Lithium) as well as Aurora Lithium AB, Outotec, FLSmidth, GTK and Luleå University of Technology.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Leading Edge Materials Corp.
Mr. Mark Saxon, Interim CEO
About Leading Edge Materials
Leading Edge Materials is a Canadian public company focused on production of high value critical raw materials for the European market. LEM’s assets and research focus are towards the raw materials for Li-ion batteries, high thermal efficiency and materials that improve the efficiency of energy generation. Investments are linked to the global shift to low-carbon energy generation and energy storage.
The information was submitted for publication through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 25th February 2020 at 4:00 AM Vancouver time.
Leading Edge Materials is listed on the TSXV under the symbol “LEM” and Nasdaq First North Stockholm under the symbol “LEMSE”. Mangold Fondkommission AB is the Company’s CA on Nasdaq First North and may be contacted at +46 (0) 8 5030 1550.
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