Saturday, March 29, 2008

Canada

Pegmatites:

The underground mining operation formerly owned by the Sullivan Mining Group located near Barraute, Quebec, supplied spodumene concentrate to Lithium Corporation of America to help satisfy the US Atomic Energy Commission’s lithium hydroxide purchasing contract in the 1950’s.

Subsequently, the company produced a limited range of lithium chemicals but with the ending of the USAEC contract prices had plummeted. The deposit has recently been acquired by Black Pearl Minerals. Reserves are stated to total approximately 90,000 tonnes Li.

Cabot Corp’s underground mine at Bernic Lake, was originally developed as a tantalite operation but, now also produces 20,000 (?) tpa of lithium concentrates for direct usage in the glass and glass ceramic industry. The zoned pegmatite also hosts the world’s largest reserve of pollucite from which it produces a range of cesium chemicals.

Current reserves (Gary Poetschke, personal communication) total 18, 600 tonnes Li.

Numerous other pegmatites have been partly explored in Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario including Snow Lake (26,000 tonnes Li), La Motte (23,000 tonnes Li), Separation Rapids (56,000 tonnes Li), Wekusko Lake (28,000 tonnes Li) and Sirmac Lake (3,000 tonnes Li) – a total of 147,000 tonnes.

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