Stage I bench-scale testing has been completed at SGS Lakefield using the Re-2Ox process for the recovery of performance-enhancing battery metal Rubidium from Granada Gold Mine’s drill core. Test work was funded and supervised by Canada Silver Cobalt Works.
Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. (TSXV:CCW)(OTCQB:CCWOF) (Frankfurt:4T9B) (Canada Silver Cobalt or the Company) and Granada Gold Mine Inc. (TSXV:GGM) (OTC:GBBFF) (Frankfurt:B6D) are pleased to announce positive bench-scale leach test results achieving 99 percent extraction of the contained alkali metal rubidium from drill core sourced from the recently discovered EV battery metals zone at the Granada Gold deposit in northwestern Quebec.
SGS bench scale test-work achieves leach extraction of 99% rubidium.
Project economics are enhanced by having gold bullion as a primary metal recovery and rubidium carbonate as a secondary by-product metal recovery.
The company is now positioned to use the Re-2Ox Process to accept additional feeds for evaluation under a toll processing arrangement.
Canada Silver Cobalt Works CEO Frank J. Basa, P.Eng., states:
“To successfully leach rubidium from the mineralized material is a major accomplishment for the Re-2Ox process. It demonstrates its flexibility in treating other feeds using the same chemicals and process equipment that we used to produce base metal EV salts.”
“The company plans to reintegrate the precious metal leaching stage into the Re-2Ox process thereby making the process more viable. This precious metal production will permit the production of EV battery salts by-products at low or no cost. The Company will be working closely with Granada Gold Mine Inc. in the coming months to use the Re-2Ox process to further develop the potential market and economics for the rubidium carbonate salts that would meet the EV battery metals market sourcing needs.”
Canada Silver Cobalt aims to supply high-value metals to the electric vehicle (EV) battery market using the Re-2Ox process. With its 100-percent ownership of property holdings in safe jurisdictions containing cobalt, nickel, copper, silver and gold, it is secure in meeting the demands of the global EV battery market. As a consequence of the encouraging results in leaching rubidium, the company is now actively looking for other feeds to evaluate for processing that it does not own but can toll process using the Re-2Ox process.
The recent discovery of a potentially large, low-grade alkali and rare earth mineralized zone at Granada Gold Mine meets the Company criteria. With the addition of rubidium carbonate salt to the electrolyte, battery performance in both lithium-ion and sodium-ion EV batteries improves in charging rates and cyclability.
The EV battery metals zone consists of several alkali and rare earth metals discovered near surface and at depth in early 2021 during a 30,000-meter infill drilling program on the northern section of the Big Claim at the Granada Gold Mine property. Two drill holes, separated by 1600 meters, were tested and assayed. The deepest hole, drilled to a depth of 1626 meters, intersected 21 distinct mineralized zones varying in width from 2.8 to 177 meters. The best grade, over a wide width, for rubidium was 340 grams per tonne over 53 meters.
Current pricing for rubidium carbonate salt is about 1.00 US dollar per gram. As this EV metal mineralized zone sits stratigraphically on top of the Gold mineralized zone, it may be mined to produce gold bullion as a primary recoverable metal with a rubidium carbonate salt as a by-product thereby significantly increasing the value and economics of the property.
Drill core from the EV battery metals discovery zone, from the northern part of the Big Claim at Granada Gold Mine, was used for the test work at SGS Canada. The core was crushed and ground to 80 percent passing 200 mesh, followed by a conventional flotation process to remove pyrite. Pyrite removal minimizes chemical consumption during the Re-2Ox leaching process. Multiple bench-scale tests were undertaken to optimize leach extraction, achieving 99 percent of contained rubidium metal, by varying leach time, chemical concentrations, and temperatures.
The company decided to reintegrate the precious metal stage into the Re-2Ox process as the primary pay metal and produce EV by-product metals at zero or low cost. This approach de-risks project economics due to massive price swings of EV battery metals.
Rubidium carbonate salts are commonly used in EV lithium-ion batteries and, more recently, in sodium-ion battery electrolytes. Sodium-ion batteries use low-cost, and benign metals. Sodium is significantly more abundant than lithium, so it is possible to produce a larger quantity of EV batteries at a lower cost. Sodiumion batteries would not require costly factory redesigns to be put into production because it would use existing technology. Sodium-ion battery anodes are carbon based, similar to lithium-ion batteries.
Chinese battery manufacturer CATL supplies Li-ion batteries for auto manufacturers including Tesla and produces 30 percent of global battery needs. CATL states that:
“Sodium-ion batteries could offer greater fastcharging performance than current Li-ion cells, along with lifecycle and safety performance that matches or exceeds that of our own LFP-based lithium batteries … sodium-ion’s impressive lowtemperature performance where the chemistry sees less capacity-fading and less performance-fading than lithium-ion, which is known to struggle in cold climates.”
CATL has begun small-scale commercial deployment of sodium-ion batteries in July 2021 and plans to ramp up the sodium-ion supply chain through to 2023. The main attraction of sodium-ion batteries is sustainability. (CATL news July 29, 2021)