Lithium brine explorer Anson Resources (ASX: ASN) has announced further increases to lithium concentrations at its Paradox project in Utah following 24 days of evaporation test work.
The work, which forms part of Anson’s plan to fast-track production at the project, was carried out using heat lamps on a bulk sample of lithium brine from the Cane Creek 32-1 well.
The results will assist with designing the production process by providing insight about the brine feed that can be expected from Cane Creek.
The company reported a week ago that the evaporation trials had boosted lithium concentrations by 250% to 310 parts per million.
Today, Anson said lithium concentrations had continued to rise during testing to now stand at 900ppm. This grade represents a further 290% boost, or more than 700% overall compared to the initial brine feed grade of 126ppm.
In addition, boron concentrations have increased by more than 650% overall to 12,250ppm and calcium grades were more than five times higher at 283,800ppm.
Meanwhile, magnesium has begun to decrease after an earlier rise and is now at 12,900ppm compared to the feed grade of 39,100ppm. According to Anson, this precipitation was sped up by the removal of crystals in the brine.
Sodium and potassium levels also continued to drop.
According to Anson, the results indicate that using evaporation to precipitate unwanted salts in the brine as a pre-processing step would boost the feed grade of the lithium into the proposed extraction process.
Anson managing director Bruch Richardson said the results were “unexpected” although “very encouraging for the success of the Paradox lithium project”.
“The rapid precipitation of the salts from the brine and the resulting increase in lithium concentration in the brine should provide improved feed for the production plant resulting in improved productivity,” he said.
Richardson noted that test work was ongoing and the final report, including the final feed grade of lithium and other minerals, was not expected until mid-August.
Anson is also conducting field evaporation trials in bunded areas on the Cane Creek 32-1 pad to determine if natural evaporation will provide a similar result.
According to the company, evaporations levels are known to be high in the arid desert conditions where the well is located.
Anson shares soared 70% higher to A$0.102 on the new test results by midday trade.