A week after closing its A$1.76 million share placement with China’s Zhongfan Group, Anson Resources (ASX: ASN) has completed drilling preparations at its Paradox lithium brine project within Utah’s “Lithium Four Corners” region.
Anson has finished the drill pad at Gold Bar Unit 2, excavating the cuttings pit and digging the cellar to provide workspace around the hole for drilling accessories and rig operators.
Also access roads have been upgraded to ensure the rig is easily transported to site.
“Extracting brine is now extremely close, and Anson remains firmly on schedule to produce its first lithium carbonate in April 2018,” Anson managing director Bruce Richardson said.
Once drilling has finished, the samples will be sent for analysis followed by a processing a 500-litre bulk sample in a bench top plant to produce the lithium carbonate equivalent.
Anson also anticipates producing other marketable minerals including boron, bromine, iodine and magnesium which could offer the company additional revenue.
“In addition to having samples to assay, the likely economics of the project can begin to be understood as further metallurgical testwork will also begin on the possible economics of the other mineral products in addition to the lithium brines, including boron, bromine, iodine and magnesium, as preparations and planning begin to progress to feasibility stage,” Mr Richardson said.
Following the bench top pilot, Anson will develop an in-field pilot plant using its A$1.76 million funding to validate the process undertaken in the bench top.
This was Zhongfan’s second investment in Anson, with the first proceeds used to develop the bench top pilot.
“With reach into multiple markets and a complementary business line expected to utilise lithium, Anson is very pleased to have further strengthened its business relationship with Zhongfan,” Mr Richardson said.
Based in Shanghai, China, Zhongfan operates across resources, commodity trading and technology development with an annual turnover in excess of US$2 billion.
Anson’s Paradox project encompasses 508 placer claims across 4,091 hectares within the United States’ known Utah lithium brine region.
Historical exploration near Paradox has produced up to 1,700 parts per million lithium and Anson is targeting a conceptual resource at the project of 40 million barrels of brine grading between 500ppm and 1,700ppm.
Other explorers in the area include Voltaic Minerals, MGX, American Potash, Liberty One, US Cobalt, Power Metals and Standard Lithium.
Shares in Anson were up almost 10% in early morning trade to site at A$0.18.