THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Global Geoscience (ASX: GSC) has produced premium quality boric acid from the company’s Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA.
Global Geoscience boasted the boric acid contains very low levels of impurities and was produced using a conventional flowsheet developed for the Rhyolite Ridge Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS).
“These very pleasing results confirm that a high-quality boric acid product can be produced at the mine site using conventional commercial processes,” Global Geoscience managing director Bernard Rowe said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“We expect this, combined with low-cost mining and leaching, to translate into very competitive boric acid costs and likely to be at the lower end of our expectations.
“Over the past twelve months we have built a very strong borates team with many decades of experience and that has provided us with a deep understanding of the global borates market.
“This wealth of experience will be critical as we transform Rhyolite Ridge into a major producer of premium boron and lithium products.”
Global Geoscience explained that part of its ongoing metallurgical testwork program is the production of boric acid and lithium carbonate using the flowsheet developed for the PFS.
The company declared this testwork demonstrates the ability to produce marketable products using a process flowsheet that can be scaled up for commercial production.
In the current test program, lithium and boron are being leached from coarse crushed rock using sulphuric acid in 200 litre vats.
The pregnant leach solution (PLS) then undergoes a series of evaporation and crystallisation steps to remove the boric acid. The boric acid is then purified using conventional steps including washing, filtration and recrystallisation.
No reagents are used in the production of boric acid.
“With the majority of global supply and reserves of borates being in Turkey, we are confident that Global Geoscience will be welcomed as the third major supplier of boric acid globally,” Rowe continued.
“The Rhyolite Ridge Pre-Feasibility Study is on track for completion during the current quarter.
“The PFS is expected to demonstrate the strong economics of developing Rhyolite Ridge into a major, low-cost, near-term producer of lithium carbonate and boric acid.”