This first batch of lithium carbonate achieved a purity of 99.45% Li2CO3, and can be further washed employing the same methods to 99.75% Li2CO3.
The process employed during the production of lithium carbonate is approximately the same as described in the company's preliminary economic assessment (PEA).
"The production of battery grade lithium carbonate from brine concentrated on site is a major milestone for Rodinia," Rodinia's president & CEO William Randall said.
"This reflects on both the quality of our brine and that of our team, who has advanced this project through the initial phases with remarkable success.
"This last achievement serves as further encouragement that our process design, as described in the PEA, can achieve high purity lithium carbonate production at the estimated costs."
Rodinia Lithium said that the brine was concentrated and treated on site at the salar and then shipped to SGS Laboratories in Lakefield, Ontario. It was then processed to prioritize lithium carbonate production following the flow sheet described in the PEA.
Further batches of concentrated brine derived from the pilot ponds will be available for further processing prior to completing a full cycle at pilot scale in the first quarter of 2013.
The company said that completion of the pilot plant cycle is expected during the first quarter of 2013 and is expected to be the final component of the upcoming feasibility study.
"The next deliverable is expected to be the completion of an upgraded resource estimate that, in conjunction with the information gathered during operation of the pilot plant in Q1 2013, will form the basis of the feasibility study," Rodinia Lithium's Randall added.
All drilling and major construction work has been completed on site, which means we can focus our resources on the optimization of our feasibility study."
Rodinia Lithium is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company with a primary focus on Lithium exploration and development in North and South America. It is also actively exploring the commercialization of a significant potash co-product that is expected to be recoverable through the lithium harvesting process.
The company's Salar de Diablillos lithium-brine project in Argentina contains a recoverable resource of 2.82 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent and 11.27 million tonnes potassium chloride equivalent. The project contains a recoverable inferred resource of 952,553,000 cubic metres grading 556 milligrams per litre lithium and 6,206 milligrams per litre potassium.
Throughout 2012, Rodinia will focus on continuing to develop the Diablillos project by completing additional drilling and advancing through feasibility study.
The company also holds 100 per cent mineral rights to approximately 15,000 acres in Nevada's lithium-rich Clayton Valley in
Esmeralda County, and is currently in the process of assessing the size, quality and processing alternatives of this deposit.