Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value elements and industrial minerals, in response to lithium industry inquiries, plans to establish a separate lithium subsidiary to market the lithium potentially produced from its poly-metallic Round Top long-life deposit.
Column leach tests were conducted by Resource Development Inc (RDI) of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, an independent laboratory testing company which provides technical and consulting services to the international mining industry.
Round Top rhyolite crushed to ½ inch and leached at room temperature in 75 g/l sulfuric acid strength columns for 60 days yielded potentially economic amounts of lithium (Li) with an ore grade of 400 ppm and a 58.5% extraction rate.
At these recoveries, and assuming a 20,000 tpd (tonnes per day) operation as envisioned in the 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), recoveries of as much as 9,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate are suggested.
The 2013 PEA was based on a 20-year mine life while only using 18% of the resource, suggesting a potential overall mine life in excess of 100 years.
We believe that Round Top can be a stable, long-term domestic supply of lithium. The formation of a lithium marketing subsidiary is an integral part of our plans to realize the potential of the non-rare earth elements that are leached from the Round Top rock. Potentially producing and marketing lithium significantly de-risks project economics and adds a potentially significant source of long-term revenue.—Dan Gorski, CEO
Goldman Sachs believes growth in the electric vehicle market alone could triple the size of the lithium market from 160,000 tons today to 470,000 tons by 2025. According to Credit Suisse, demand for lithium could outstrip supply in 2020 by 25%. At that point, the world is expected to need more than 380,000 tons of lithium (reported as lithium carbonate equivalent or "LCE"). Considering the demand was approximately 190,000 tons in 2014, that is over 100% growth over a six-year period.
Texas Mineral Resources Corp.’s primary focus is exploring and, if warranted, developing its Round Top heavy rare earth and industrial minerals project located in Hudspeth County, Texas, 85 miles east of El Paso.
The PEA is not a feasibility study and there are no known proven or probable reserves at the Round Top project under SEC Industry Guide 7. The mine plan and mine economics presented in the PEA are preliminary in nature and may not reflect actual mine production and costs if the company determines to develop the Round Top project.
The projected annual Lithium production numbers and mine life are based on preliminary laboratory testing and mine plan economics; such results may not be indicative of up-scaled mining operations and the economic viability of the Round Top project.