Toronto-based Rodinia Lithium (CVE:RM) (OTCQX:RDNAF) said Thursday that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has conditionally approved the company's plan of operations for its Clayton Valley lithium-brine project in Nevada.
The conditional approval permits additional drilling at the Clayton Valley project, which is strategically located next to the Silver Peak operation that is owned by Chemetall Foote, and has been a lithium-brine producer since the 1960s.
Rodinia's drill program will target the southern trench that is believed to be an extension of the productive Silver Peak aquifers further north, where the company has had previous drilling success, it said.
The goal of the drill campaign is to produce the first 43-101 compliant lithium-brine resource for a North America asset.
"We are extremely pleased to have received this confirmation from the BLM and to once again be in a position to start planning and moving ahead with our much anticipated exploration program in Clayton Valley," said president and CEO William Randall.
"We intend to resume drilling once the Environmental Assessment and public comment period are complete with the intention of delineating a lithium brine resource in the southern trench that extends the length of our southern claim package."
Rodinia said it has commissioned environmental consultants EPG, Inc., to complete an environmental assessment, as required under the National Environmental Protection Act. As part of this, there will be a 30-day public comment period that will address public concerns.
A meeting to discuss the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act has been scheduled for Rodinia on Tuesday March 6.
Earlier this month, Rodinia Lithium said that it has started the construction and operation of a pilot production facility at its Salar de Diablillos lithium brine project in Salta Province, Argentina.
The purpose of the pilot production facility is to confirm the proposed process outlined in the recent preliminary economic assessment for the project, with results to be included into a feasibility study.
The facility is to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate on site, including production of by-products potash and boric acid, giving a glimpse of how a potential final production facility would operate.
In November 2011, the company's preliminary economic assessment for Diablillos indicated a potentially low cost operation with a net present value as high as US$964 million, and a mine life of greater than 20 years.