• Metallurgy work shows low-grade lithium recoveries of 60%, while high-grade recoveries are 72%
  • Both achieve >6% Li2O commercial concentrate grades
  • Ore sorting tech shows potential for either shipment or conventional dense media separation of lithium


Special Report: Metallurgical test work on Burley Minerals’ Chubb Central spodumene-bearing pegmatites are showing >6% commercial grade Li2O recoveries of up to 72% – a huge value-add to proving up the claims in the emerging Abitibi lithium precinct in Quebec, Canada.

The Abitibi-Témiscamingue region is a re-emerging mining district, where gold has been produced since 1939 and centred around the mining towns of Malartic and Val d’Or – this time, it’s lithium that has companies flocking to the area.

Burley Minerals’ (ASX:BUR) Chubb lithium project is just 25km from Val d’Or. Recent diamond drilling extended spodumene mineralisation within the Main Dyke by more than 560m in length and 200m in depth, showing Li2O grades of up to 1.57%.

It’s also within range of Canada’s only operating lithium mine, the 58Mt @ 1.23% Li2O North America Lithium (NAL) operation jointly run by Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL).

More than 12,000m has been completed since April this year as BUR continues to extend and expand the mineralised zone at Chubb Central – and an unexpected yet fortunate pollucite discovery may also provide an option for commercial caesium mining, a further value-add to the project.


Chubb Metallurgy

Back in September, BUR submitted two composite samples comprising a high-grade and a low-grade spodumene-bearing pegmatite to Canadian lab SGS.

This included:

  • Chemical and mineralogical characterisation;
  • Comminution testwork (crushing work, ball work and abrasion indices determination);
  • Heavy liquid separation test work;
  • Magnetic separation test work;
  • Hydro-separation test work;
  • Flotation test work; and
  • Environmental impact potential.

Lithium grades were confirmed up to 6.44%, while analysis indicated a low iron content which is important for lithium recoveries during processing. Recoveries averaged 60% for low-grade and 72% for high-grade.

These early results indicate that BUR may not need to use capital-intensive flotation or magnetic circuits to process the ore, which means cheaper and likely easier extraction of lithium from the Chubb project.

BUR any has engaged STARK Resources to conduct a test work program to assess the amenability of Chubb Central ore to concentration by coarse, dry ore sorting using both X-Ray Transmission (XRT) and ultraviolet (UV) technologies.

Burley Minerals (ASX:BUR)
The Chubb lithium project and surrounding projects in the established Abitibi-Témiscamingue lithium precinct. Source: BUR

BUR MD Stewart McCallion says the preliminary metallurgical test work provides an improved understanding of the Chubb Central mineralised zone, and its amenability to processing through a typical spodumene concentrator flowsheet.

“Through the ongoing exploration activities, and now the preliminary metallurgical test work, the Burley Minerals team continue to add value to the highly prospective Chubb Lithium claims,” McCallion says.

“Initial test work was successful in demonstrating strong lithium recoveries of 60-72%, whilst achieving a high grade +6% Li2O lithium concentrate.

“The initial metallurgical results suggest the process flowsheet may not require a flotation or magnetic circuits potentially simplifying these and reducing both operating and capital costs.

“We will continue to improve confidence at Chubb – both from the understanding of both its mineralisation, and its metallurgical properties.”

Building on the positive results from the preliminary metallurgical test work program, BUR says it is planning further metallurgical programs for 2024 – including additional comminution, mineralogy, heavy liquid separation, and flotation test work.



This article was developed in collaboration with Burley Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.