Wood has been selected by Australian-based lithium-boron mine developer Global Geoscience Ltd to complete the PFS for the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA. 100% owned by Global Geoscience, Rhyolite Ridge is a large, shallow lithium-boron deposit located close to existing infrastructure in southern Nevada.
Wood’s scope of work on the project includes the preparation of a comprehensive PFS. The first phase will involve a series of value engineering trade-off studies of different options and demonstrate the robust economics of the project. The second phase comprises the completion of a JORC Code-compliant PFS.
Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions, comments: “Rhyolite Ridge is one of the largest lithium and boron deposits in North America. We look forward to applying our strong technical capability and experience in lithium processing on this project to support Global Geoscience in realizing this exciting lithium-boron growth opportunity.”
Global Geoscience’s Managing Director, Bernard Rowe said: “Wood’s capabilities and strong technical team are an exceptionally good fit for the Rhyolite Ridge PFS. Wood has completed numerous studies for mining projects in Nevada as well as relevant studies for various lithium and boron projects globally.
- Strategic location: stable, mining friendly jurisdiction and close to existing infrastructure
- Large and scaleable: near-surface 460 Mt Resource contains 4.1 Mt of lithium carbonate and 11.3 Mt of boric acid.
The latest results from ongoing optimisation acid-leach test work on Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron mineralisation show that reducing the crush size improves both leach time and recoveries:
- Column leach time reduced from 41 to 15 days – a 60% reduction
- Recoveries to solution increased to 97% for lithium and 98% for boron
- Vat leach test work returned high recoveries of both lithium (92%) and boron (80%)
- Further improvements for vat and column tests likely with ongoing optimisation test work
- Wood is conducting trade-off studies as part of the PFS to determine the optimal processing route.
Global’s Rhyolite Ridge is the only lithium deposit in the world that has been demonstrated to be amenable to simple acid leach processing, reinforcing it as a credible alternative to spodumene and brine deposits as a major, low-cost and long-term source of lithium.