[ferro-alloys.com]Avalon Advanced Materials (TSX: AVL) announced that it has re-activated its Lilypad cesium-tantalum-lithium project in Ontario due to increasing demand for cesium.
“Cesium is a rare element in growing demand for many new technologies, but with very limited supply following the cessation of production from the world’s largest historical producer, the Tanco mine, near Bernic Lake, Manitoba,” the miner said in a press release.
“Some 75% of cesium production has been used to make cesium formate: a high density, low viscosity fluid used in deep offshore oil drilling. Cesium formate has a value of approximately $2,200/kg and is leased to oil well drilling companies and recycled after use. Other cesium products often sell at prices from $200-1,000/kg. Cesium has a variety of other high technology applications, including extremely accurate atomic clocks.”
The Lilypad property consists of 14 claims covering 3,108 hectares located approximately 350 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, near the community of Fort Hope in the traditional territory of the Eabametoong First Nation.
According to Avalon, historical work at Lilypad in 2001-2, which was focused on defining tantalum resources, was also successful in identifying widespread occurrences of the cesium ore mineral pollucite in a field of highly fractionated lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite dykes.
More recently, the company carried out a short field program to collect 200 kilograms of cesium mineralized pegmatite rock for study on how to efficiently concentrate the pollucite mineralization which, unlike most such occurrences, is found widely distributed throughout the many LCT pegmatite dykes on the property.
“Planned follow-up work will initially involve mineralogical and analytical testwork to characterize in detail how the pollucite occurs, which will be followed by metallurgical process testwork to identify the most efficient methods for concentrating the pollucite and recovering by-product tantalum and lithium,” the miner said.