Alpha Lithium Nears Completion of Pilot Plant at Tolillar Salar, Argentina
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alpha Lithium Corporation (NEO: ALLI) (OTC: APHLF) (Germany WKN: A3CUW1) (“Alpha” or the “Company”), a company with two substantial lithium assets in the Salta region of Argentina and over $35 million of cash on hand, is pleased to report that construction of the Company’s 120 tonne per annum (“tpa”) pilot plant is nearing completion and is expected to commence test production of high-quality lithium carbonate (“Li2CO3”) in Q2/Q3 2023.
The pilot plant has the potential to utilize brine from both the 27,500-hectare Tolillar Salar and the Company’s 5,000-hectare asset in nearby Salar del Hombre Muerto.
Construction on the modular pilot plant is more than 50% complete. The on-site module of the plant will initially house the Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) section and the second module will house industry standard lithium processing equipment: carbonation, ion exchange, filters and dryers, and will be located in the city of Salta. The second module will continue to operate in Salta until the process and systems have been fully calibrated, after which, the module will be moved onsite to operate at altitude on the salar.
The objective of the pilot plant is to demonstrate that Alpha’s promising laboratory DLE results can be repeated and maintained under industrial pilot conditions. The pilot plant will also provide the Company with important data upon which to base the technical and economic assumptions for use in economic analyses. Ausenco Limited (“Ausenco”) has been engaged to assess the economic assumptions and viability of Alpha’s proposed 50,000 tpa commercial plant (see January 9, 2023 news release).
The pilot plant has been designed with complete flexibility to assess the effectiveness of variable operating parameters and conditions, such as flow rates, pressures, temperatures, and chemical additives. This flexibility within the plant will allow operators to inform and refine the design of the Company’s planned 50,000 tonnes/year (“tpa”) lithium carbonate plant.
Brad Nichol, President and CEO of Alpha, commented, “Visitors to Tolillar Salar one year ago would not recognize the salar today. With five drilling rigs operating for the last several months, we now have twenty-four wells drilled on the northern part of property. We have completed 160 VES points and have a comprehensive understanding of the hydrogeological model.” Nichol added, “Constructing a pilot plant to test our promising DLE lab results at scale and under salar conditions is now considerably complete.”
Of the approximately twenty active lithium projects in Argentina, Tolillar Salar enjoys the unique position as the only salar with a single owner. Alpha is in an extremely rare position with Tolillar Salar, which creates shareholder value in multiple respects.
All operations and assets of the Company are in Argentina and are fully managed by Alpha Lithium Argentina SA (“Alpha SA”) utilizing local employees and consultants. Neither Alpha, nor Alpha SA, have any operations or assets in Canada.
Since initiating the first steps of an exploration program in 2020, Alpha SA has drilled more than 20 wellbores in Tolillar Salar, constructed an in-house brine chemistry research laboratory, developed a proprietary Lithium Carbonate production process, started construction of a pilot plant, and employed dozens of highly skilled Argentinian technologists, engineers, geologists, geophysicists and chemists, in addition to several students, accounting, managerial and HR professionals. The Company is grateful for, and reliant upon, the significantly large Argentinian team that has proven instrumental at generating value for shareholders.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF ALPHA LITHIUM CORPORATION
President, CEO and Director
For more information:
Alpha Lithium Investor Relations
Tel: +1 844 592 6337
About Alpha Lithium (NEO: ALLI) (OTC: APHLF) (Germany WKN: A3CUW1)
Alpha Lithium is a team of industry professionals and experienced stakeholders focused on the development of the Tolillar and Hombre Muerto Salars. In Tolillar, we have assembled 100% ownership of what may be one of Argentina’s last undeveloped lithium salars, encompassing 27,500 hectares (67,954 acres), neighboring multi-billion-dollar lithium players in the heart of the renowned “Lithium Triangle”. In Hombre Muerto, we continue to expand our 5,000+ hectare (12,570 acres) foothold in one of the world’s highest quality, longest producing, lithium salars. Other companies in the area exploring for lithium brines or currently in production include Orocobre Limited, Galaxy Lithium, Livent Corporation, and POSCO in Salar del Hombre Muerto; Orocobre in Salar Olaroz; Eramine SudAmerica S.A. in Salar de Centenario; and Gangfeng and Lithium Americas in Salar de Cauchari.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the results of further brine process testing and exploration and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.
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