Separation Rapids Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
StagePreliminary Economic Assessment
  • Lithium
  • Petalite
  • Lepidolite
  • Feldspar
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
ShapshotSeparation Rapids Lithium Project has the potential to produce high-purity lithium compounds for two distinct markets: a specialty mineral product for high-strength glass-ceramics and lithium battery materials, notably lithium hydroxide.


Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. 40 % Indirect
Sibelco Group 60 % Indirect
On November 9, 2023, Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. ("Avalon") and SCR-Sibelco NV ("Sibelco") announced the closing of their joint venture transaction. The new joint venture company, Separation Rapids Ltd. ("SRL"), has a mandate to advance mining activities at the flagship Separation Rapids deposit near Kenora, ON, as well as at the Lilypad Project located near Fort Hope, ON.

SRL is jointly owned by Sibelco (60%) and Avalon (40%).



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Deposit type

  • Pegmatite


The Separation Rapids Lithium Deposit (SRLD) is underlain predominantly by a mafic metavolcanic sequence, consisting of flows, tuffs, subordinate epiclastic metasediments and rare iron formation horizons and rhyolites.

The drill tested portion is about 750 m in strike length, of which about 300 m is considerably thicker and thus contains the bulk of the presently defined mineral resource. The further continuation of the pegmatite 450 m to the west is thinner and has a few shallow drill holes. This thin portion, drilled in the past, has been informally referred to as Bob’s Pegmatite.

There is yet further extension of the thinner pegmatite in sparse outcrops to the west for approximately 400 m, referred to normally as the “Western Pegmatite”.

The thickest part of the SRLD, historically referred to as the Big Whopper Pegmatite, forms a large lens-shaped body approximately 400 m long and approximately 70 m at its widest part.

The SRLD narrows to less than 20 m at both its eastern and western ends, and extends along strike in both directions for at least 300 m in the form of relatively narrow tails up to 10 to 15 m wide. Smaller, subparallel, 1 m to 10 m wide, petalite-bearing pegmatite bodies predominantly occur to the northeast, north and northwest of the main SRLD body, with minor occurrences on the southern flank.

The narrower west-southwest-striking zone of petalite pegmatites extends from the main SRLD for a distance of approximately 750 m to the west and is exposed in four outcrops, namely the Great White North, Bob’s, Swamp and West pegmatites.

Avalon has further subdivided the SRLD into three sub-zones, namely the Separation Rapids Pegmatite, Western Pegmatite and Eastern Swarm. Based on lithological, mineralogical and textural variations, the Separation Rapids Pegmatite itself has been subdivided into five distinct lithological units and subunits, 3a, 3b, 4, 5 and 6, that outcrop as irregular dykes and larger irregular to elliptical bodies intruding the amphibolite and granites.

The main SRLD is flanked by a swarm of narrower petalite-bearing, highly feldspathic pegmatites, albitite and albite-potassium feldspar zones, subunits, 3a and 3b. These two subunits make up a significant portion of the northwestern part of the SRLD. Subunit 3a occurs as discrete, strongly foliated aplitic zones proximal to the SRLD and internally as endocontact border zones proximal to the amphibolite. Subunit 3b occurs as medium-grained, potassium feldspar-rich megacrystic dykes, which are somewhat similar to the Subunit 3a dykes and also occur within the same portions of the northwestern SRLD.

The potassium feldspar-rich zone lithology that constitutes Unit 4 is confined, on surface, to the northwestern and southwestern peripheral zones and two narrow, 20 m to 30 m long zones on the southern margin of the main zone.

Unit 5 occurs as irregular zones commonly associated and interbanded with Unit 4 in the northern and northwestern zone peripheral to the main SRLD. The Unit 5 zones tend to be less than 20 m in length (except for one larger, 60- m long zone on the northwestern flank). At depth, Unit 5 is intersected in drill core, on sections 250 W, 300 W and in sections 450 W 500 W and 550 W in the “Flame Structure”. In total, Unit 5 constitutes 17% of the feldspathic units in the SRLD.

Within the intermediate zone of the Separation Rapids Pegmatite the predominant lithology is the petalite-bearing Unit 6. Avalon has subdivided this unit into four textural and compositional subunits: 6a, 6b and 6c form the bulk of the petalite pegmatite.

Discontinuous albitic dykes, commonly with petalite cores, occur in boudinaged, pinch- and swell swarms proximal to the northern contact of the SRLD and the Western Pegmatite. Most are narrow and less than 1 m wide, with exceptions reaching 12 to 15 m in width and 150 m in length, including a lepidolite-rich dyke encountered in diamond drilling, and referred to as the Lepidolite Dyke.

Pegmatitic granite dykes and larger elliptical intrusions related to the Separation Rapids Pluton outcrop at several locations on the property. These rocks (Unit 7) consist predominantly of white rubidium-rich potassium feldspar, with subordinate amounts of albite, green lithian muscovite, quartz, accessory garnet (spessartine), cassiterite, apatite, tantalum oxides and granite.

Geological mapping and diamond drilling show that the SRLD system has a strike length of over 1.5 km, and widths ranging from 10 to 70 m. To date, the SRLD has been intersected by drilling to a vertical depth of almost 275 m. The petalite-bearing pegmatite zones show little variation in true width between surface outcrop, up to 70 m, and up to 45 m for near-surface and the deepest intersected levels. These petalite zones are open to depth.

The central portion of the SRLD is a low, dome-shaped hill, formed by the well-exposed main mineralized zone. It has a strike length of 600 m with a drill-tested vertical depth of at least 250 m. It forms the widest portion of the SRLD, averaging 55 m over a 300 m strike length.

Surface geological mapping and diamond drilling carried out by Avalon between lines 550W and 700W show that the Western Pegmatite is the western continuation of the Separation Rapids Pegmatite, with the width narrowing significantly to 10 m and less.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Petalite kt 731,323
Lepidolite kt 12219
Feldspar kt 1001,308
All production numbers are expressed as concentrate.

Operational metrics

Reject, LOM 154,223 t *
Annual ore mining rate 475,000 t *
Annual processing capacity 475,000 t *
Stripping / waste ratio 6.11 *
Waste tonnes, LOM 52,344,381 t *
Ore tonnes mined, LOM 8,567,928 t *
Total tonnes mined, LOM 60,912,309 t *
Tonnes milled, LOM 8,413,705 t *
* According to 2018 study.

Production Costs

Cash costs (sold) Feldspar USD 83 / t *  
Cash costs (sold) Petalite USD 516 / t *  
* According to 2018 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

OP mining costs ($/t mined) CAD 5.52 *  
OP mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2018 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Closure costs $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
OP OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
G&A costs $M CAD 33.8
Total OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Total Taxes $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 8% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 18, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 14, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Aug 21, 2018
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Aug 21, 2018
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 18, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 18, 2023

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2018


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