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Lovelyboy ..... contaminants
The one that was mentioned to me was magnesium. I noted "While all product used by the battery industry has to be at least 99.5% lithium carbonate, the makeup of the remaining 0.5% is important; higher amounts of iron, magnesium or other deleterious materials makes brine a less attractive product. "
I understand that CL has found the brine at UD to be very low in magnesium so the cost of removing it was thought to be very low too. This is probably not the case with brines elsewhere. So CL has an advantage perhaps.
I can believe the zeros. A mate if mine owned some woodland Calstock way. Years back. Basically environment agency recommended for it to be off limits in dry weather due to dangerous levels of toxic dust.
Yes arsenic is a major contaminant, with arsenpyrite normally associated with the tin ore. This has to be removed from the concentrate. There are elevated levels all over Cornwall, with some ground containing up to 500,000ppm (no that's not a mistake on the zeros)
@vii. Thanks. I notice another poster mention arsenic earlier. That was a point on the tip of my tongue. I know it's very prevelant further east (Tamar Valley region close to where I grew up ). I wondered if it would also be one of the contaminants.... Not just for the brine but present in the main paydirt so to speak.
The resin beads have to be matched to the particular brine. At the AGM mine visit they were saying they could further process the water for industrial/agricultural use.
The option of processing of the Cornish Alps is part of the deal with Imerys I believe. Just as they are making good progress with the re-naturing they can mash them all up again.
I am a fool on the basis of what?
I'm invested in CUSN whom have 1 %, royalties interest in CL, as such having no control on how CL moves forward or the revenue it makes
Much is said of CL and, indeed, some 'guessing' and publishing of revenue on here, despite nothing being confirmed by CL to us, why would, they are a private company
You have previously stated revenue from lithium will be the first revenue received by cusn, upon what basis is this??
Should they choose to go hard Rock first, does your theory still bear out?
Am not aware of both cusn or CL publishing actual dates for revenue????
What are you working to?
You have answered something I was questioning myself, would vulcan/cinovec with production 2026 be the the first in Europe?
This would appear not, re your statement of 'another' producing years ago
The geothermal holes are Targeting crosscourses where the water runs fairly freely - it is possible for it to have a positive head, although I don't think tgat has been the case at United downs - the past mine workings in effect put in pressure relief valves.
I wonder if there is a difference? The glass of water just has atmospheric pressure above it - both above the glass water and the water in the straw.
Go down 2 km in a borehole and the brine at depth has 2 km of rock bearing down on it, whereas the brine in the borehole only has atmospheric pressure bearing down on it. Like striking oil! a gusher perhaps..........................
It's a wise way to go to Extract the China clay. As I understand it, the Lithium is contained in the mica. The first process that the China clay ore (not really the right term) goes through is the removal of the mica, which accounts for about 30 - 40% of the mass mined, so straight away you're massively reducing the processing cost.
Trelavour produces a specialist clay so it's currently mined on an on/off basis as a satellite of Melbur pit.
1. Am I right in thinking that the micro beads can have different coatings and therefore the brine can be sent through a series of tubes with different beads in each one, each to take out a different mineral? That would be incredibly efficient.
One wonders if they cant make the water so clean they could sell it? A tonne of water delivered for domestic use down the SW Water distribution pipes costs around £3 / tonne. I guess for farms they buy in bulk and pay less but even at £1 a tonne if you are processing 40,000 tonnes brine for a tonne of lithium, that might be a significant extra income.
2. Your logic about which comes first DLE from Brine or Lithium from hard rock makes sense to me. BUT I asked CL recently about this. The response:-".....we are targeting end 2025/early 2026 to be in production from Trelavour and you are correct to say that we expect to be in commercial production at Trelavour first."
So I think it is worth having a good think as to why they are going the hard rock route first. (Not good for CUSN royalties!) One idea of mine - (so low confidence in it) is that by using x ray or other sorting they could increase the lithium percentage before they chemically process it using the Lepidico process . And Trelavour has some mined material already on surface I think so perhaps no mining cost there.. And, another idea is - as the area is surrounded by the Cornish Alps - hundreds of millions of tonnes of China clay waste - which I understand has the same percentage lithium in it as the JORC resource- the idea may be to process that at Trelavour too, That would have no mining cost just the cost of lifting it onto a conveyor. Perhaps worth reverting to CL for an explanation!
You need to think hydrostatically If you imagine a glass of water, the glass is 30cm tall, and the water is 2cm from the top - this the water in the Cross course.
Now put a straw in the glass of water - this us your borehole. Where is the water level in the straw? 2cm from the top of the glass.
Now how much pressure do you need to get the water from the bottom of the straw to the top of the straw? The answer is 2cm of head.
MajorOak, There may be some cost savings at Trevalour in that they are looking to see if they can use the same resource as Imerys will use for China Clay extraction, meaning the ore only has to be mined once for two different products.
I got excited about the possibility of extracting something valuable from the de-watering process, so I asked about it. Unfortunately the water in the mine is loaded with contaminants which, when I asked 2-3 months ago, rendered it unviable.
Whether anything has changed on the tech front recently I do not know. I think it unlikely. There was a lot of iron oxide in the water if I remember. JW said they tested the water coming our of the adits.
The good thing about brinefrom depth at UD is it has very low levels of contaminants compared to elsewhere in the world. So processing it is less costly. Perhaps a competitive advantage.
The water (which happens to be brine) is being pumped for its geothermic energy value not the Lithium content. CL are just utilising this by product from GEL.
Pumping brine from 5km down will take a lot of energy.
40,000 tons is 540,000 kwhr. By my calcs
E3's closed loop system will therefore be constant 24/7 , fully automated process of extraction by volume purely from brines rather than having the extra costs of having to split out other products unless they decide to add extra filtration membranes to capture other metalic ions by metal type. Still on a closed loop 24/7. Rock mica costs will be much higher.
My example was based on mica rock from cinovec.
Their PFS has 0.4% cut off in grade not 0.11%. To create 30,000 tpa of premium lithium hydroxide 160,000 tons of rock have to be extracted and processed via several stages inc possibility of arsenic which the world is trying to cut out. Rock processing is much more inefficient through the whole process thus the cost per ton is around USD$4,000-4,500pt per year. Brines currently are coming in as cheapest top quater costs around USD$1,000 Per ton cheaper.
Trelavour at 0.11% v Cinovec 0.40% would have the cost of 480,000 EXTRA tons per year ( approx 640,000 tons per year of rock ) so aporox £480,000 extra costs just to get to Cinovec production. That is their basic production. DFS is looking at going to 2 , 8 hour shifts so doubling capacity to 60,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year needing @0.4% grade a total of 320,000 tons of dirt per year.
Brines will wipe the floor on cost efficiencies v mica low grade rock. The australians I know from 2018 laughed at the PEA & PFS. They only consider a cut off of any true lithium mine @ 1.0% not 0.4% or even the embarrassing 0.11%.
Brines are a liquid chemical. It is NOT MINING it is chemical processing. Completely different.
To get lithium basic carbonate to hydroxide will cost new plant at around USD$350-375M just for the hydroxide plant. That excludes all other processing.
Brines will easily win the lithium cost war thus making much bigger margins. If the markets get tight, the high cost rock lithium companies hit the wall first. In 2018 most projects got delayed after the first rush and brines were not in the mix ar the time. That is why we are where we are with lithium shortfalls already. Throw in tin too.
5 - There was a company who DID PRODUCE LITHIUM CARBONATE FOR 7 YEARS - Fira , but due to its infancy and the 2019 lithium price crash had to fold.
The fact is brines have already been viable and made the company money in the first 5 years OF PRODUCTION. There is this ill founded myth that it cannot be done. The data and the company accounts clearly show profit from brine lithium. Do some proper research before looking foolish Fira.
6 - Why would KMX come in for 9m x2 uf they cannot do it ? Why would Bayer support Laxness Standard Lithium to demo stage and 97% RECOVERY if the pilot lav test failed, pilot on ground failed , the lithium chlorine sent from Arkansas to Vancouver to be processed to lithium hydroxide for 6 months and then ship the unit from Canada to Arkansas AND set up a full blown demo plant whilst getting Stellantis buying in , LG ENERGY & Koch inve
Been out most of the day so a lot has been posted.
1 - The brine will be filtered and this clearing of the beads will leave Lithium Carbonate. This then has to be processed to Lithium Hydroxide. There are markets for both but the extra value and current demand is for Hydroxide which increases battery density and most certainly bettery anode cathode material.
2 - Interesting from VIS and many thanks for this detail regarding the beads as the option CL are looking at. From memory there are 3 methods depending on what a company wants / can process from the brines. For other metals each filter will be charged and covered in a membrane which atracts each ion in lithiums case. Zinc , Copper , Silver AND TIN all react differently to the charge and particules for each metal will stick to each surface as expected.
So for example all byproducts if they want can be collected and added as pure metal to the totals.
Now not to get too excited lithium brine is the main target so the extra will be treated almost like the royalties CUSN will get from CL.
3 - As I understand it the pressure at depth is so good it should pretty much flow under pressure. There is the drill cost , maintenance cost and servicing but cost should be minimal.
The cost on brines is processing each metal. To get lithium carbonate to hydroxide premium takes the most in energy costs by far for the total operation. Tin, copper, zinc and silver have their own melting points but should be pretty pure as its ionic exchange. Having said that a cost of £3500 per ton v USD$25,000 per ton shows the profit margin less tax too.
4 - Fira please forgive me. CL are the lithium company NOT CUSN who have % interest in CL and royalties.
Tin will be a huge earner for CUSN. However, if you are happy to ignore CL and what they will generate for CUSN then you are the fool. I did quote imho opinion and not fact but a generalised estimate to what I hoped production in tonnage 'MAY' be. My workings were clear and straight forward. I have nothing to be gained as the people in Canada are driving the price here and not me as a very little investor in a big big big pond. My views are just that a view.
I estimated £4.2m in Royalties from CL to CUSN per year.
I ESTIMATED / GUESSED - take it or leave it I don't really care - I estimated Revenues towards £4 Billion over the life of the project from LITHIUM BRINE ONLY.
I EXCLUDE ROCK MICA as I feel the grades of cut off are far too low to actually produce the tonnage of solid rock at 0.11% per ton of rock extracted. The process of very very low grade rock means so much more needs to be extracted I just can't see it being worth it currently. My view may change depending on how the tailings are used ? My assumption is they will have to use them with mica production to get to lithium carbonate processed basic. From then both the brine and rock mica can be mixed and lithium hydroxide created at this point from BOTH sources ?
E3 have a close
Thanks for the summary Vii, apologies I'm a little drugged up (for medical reasons) so slow on the uptake today.
My point was I'd always considered the CL aspect to be a separate drilling exercise. I'd never considered that DLE could also apply to the dewatered volumes creating potential for additional bi products. The prospect of other metals is what excites me about this company. The mention of H/G Cu is interesting.
Like I say - Catching up here. Appreciate the detailed summary.
1 % stake?
I was thinking CL had taken over cusn by the nature of the postings.
CL does its IPO, nature of this board will change,
May even focus on tin
At the risk of telling you what you know already, but hopefully to clarify matters for you, Cornish Metals Inc (CUSN) has sold rights to extract minerals from Brine on the CUSN mineral rights estate, to a company called Cornish Lithium ltd (CL)a private company.
CUSN is exploring for tin, copper and silver at United Downs (UD) to mine conventionally. It published some results of its exploration yesterday. CUSN also owns South Crofty(SC) and 15000 hectares of mineral rights.
Cornish Lithium (CL) has drilled some holes to try to find Lithium in Brine. The first at UD was 5km deep and CL did it with a partner call Geothermal Engineering in a JV called Geocubed. Another shallower hole was also drilled at a different site at UD, by CL on its own. It is at this site that CL has a test rig to demonstrate the DLE (direct lithium extraction) process.
OFF the CUSN estate, CL is exploring for Lithium in hard rock(mica) at Trelavour, part of Lord Falmouth's estate. CL published a maiden resource statement about Trelavour recently. CL also has a jv with Imerys which owns huge waste tips which contain mica.
The discussion on this CUSN board has developed to include CL's activities because CUSN has a small stake in CL (about 1%), receives an annual fee from CL, and will in the future,if all goes well, receive royalties on CL's production.
I think the mention of mineral extraction from the dewatering at SC was more a case of removing Arsenic etc to make the water safe to discharge. I guess if they can make use of the extracted minerals then that is a bonus.
The water being utilised at UD is from their own shallow test bore and as a separate project they are using the water that is effectively the waste product from GEL whose intention is to pump the water as a source of heat energy. They are on two separate sites on the same industrial estate.
Sorry CK Vii and MO. Trying to keep up here and failing :-) Are you suggesting that there is possibility of additional mineral extraction from the dewatering products at UD/SC.
They are taking Lithium Hydroxide but said they can convert to Carbonate if that is where the market is.
Have not 'yet' found the method in full production.
'' Bocona" might have got that name wrong, in Mexico, may be the nearest, believe the Japanese and Chinese are in for the offtake
probably just scratched the surface on this, hence the 'yet'
We have got our little finger in early doors new tech
years to run
CK " to get 1 tonne of Lithium a lot of water is going to have to be processed."
But processing the water looks as if it will be very easy AND inexpensive. At UD we were shown how they are doing it on a test basis.
They put millions of tiny beads which have a special coating into a plastic tube. The brine is then passed through the tube and the coating attracts the lithium etc from the solution. The surface area of all the tiny spheres is vast. Every so often the spheres are "cleaned" of their deposits and the minerals extracted. The spheres are then re-used. The equipment needed for this is very cheap.
I think Major Oak spoke of a 97% removal of minerals in solution achieved by other companies in this field. As you say a lot of brine has to go though to extract a tonne of lithium. Whilst they have not given ppm figures for brine coming up from 1-2km down, they have for the 5km hole - it was 260 ppm. So to get 1 tonne of lithium with a 97% extraction rate, you would need to feed through almost 40,000 tonnes of brine. What that suggests to me is that pumping costs are going to be a key cost. What I do not know is what form this lithium takes - a carbonate for instance. Perhaps MO could advise?
There are a number of trade -offs to consider. The depth of the hole - 5km costs £20m, a less deep hole of 1-2km costs £200k. The ppm (parts per million) figures for the 5km hole was 260. For a 1-2 km hole it is not yet announced but less. Pumping from 5km is going to be considerably more costly than pumping from 1-2km. Then the energy that can be extracted from fluid at 5km is considerable with the temperatures being around 190 deg C, nearer the surface temperatures fall to 120 deg. So the electricity etc that can be made is less. The greater energy from greater depth can perhaps overcome the greater power needed to lift the fluid to the surface. But all these matters are subject to the testing that CL is doing now and in Q1 2022 at UD.