Nevada Lithium to advance hydraulic mining studies

Staff reporter

Colorado-based Global Resource Engineering will incorporate Kinley Exploration’s hydraulic borehole mining numbers in its updated preliminary economic assessment of Nevada Lithium Resources’ proposed Bonnie Claire lithium project in Nevada, USA, due for release in the third quarter of this year.

Nevada Lithium said new analysis from Kinley on the use of hydraulic borehole mining (HBM) down to 900m or more at Bonnie Claire pointed to favourable economics, though the assessment was preliminary.

Toronto-listed Nevada Lithium said Global Resource Engineering’s PEA, including HBM, updated metallurgical and lithium price data, and revised mineral resource estimation featuring drill results from the past two seasons, would provide base work for a pre-feasibility study.

Kinley had provided a working HBM model of mineralised slurry extraction between 450m and 760m depth at Bonnie Claire, where Nevada Lithium says it has intersected high-grade lithium in fine-grained, volcaniclastic sediments. Its model proffers an “operating production cost estimate” of US$14.28 per ton based on a continuous mining rate of 100 tons per hour per mining unit.

HBM is a surface-based mining method that uses a high-pressure water jet to disaggregate mineralised material and pump the resulting slurry to surface.

Kinley’s Bonnie Claire model combines an array of “jet wells” arranged in the targeted resource area and a production well outside the resource section, drilled and cased to the base of the section.

“We are delighted that Kinley has concluded that accessing depths to 3000 feet, where we have recently confirmed the existence of an open-ended, mineralised high-grade lithium zone, is achievable,” Nevada Lithium CEO Stephen Rentschler said.

Kansas-based Kinley describes itself as a “world leader in hydraulic borehole mining strategy, equipment design, engineering, and operations” with circa-35 years’ experience in the field.

“The Kinley team has pioneered a new age of hydraulic borehole mining techniques and equipment with applied modern engineering principles,” the company says.

“Given the equipment size and power requirements HBM leads to a reduced total energy and surface disturbance footprint, reduces associated emissions, and improves energy sustainability.”

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