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Avalon Re-activates Lilypad Cesium-Tantalum-Lithium Project, North of Thunder Bay

Oct 20, 2020

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. has re-activated its 100% owned Lilypad Cesium-Tantalum-Lithium Project 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 Lilypad Property consists of 14 claims covering 3,108 ha located approximately 350 km north of Thunder Bay, near the community of Fort Hope in the traditional territory of the Eabametoong First Nation.

Historical work by Avalon at Lilypad in 2001-2, that was focused on defining tantalum resources, was also successful in identifying widespread occurrences of the cesium ore mineral pollucite ((Cs,Na)2Al2Si4O122H2O) in a field of highly fractionated lithium-cesium-tantalum ("LCT") pegmatite dykes. Avalon's recent work involved a short field program to collect 200 kg 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. This will include tests using the Selfrag AG electric pulse disaggregation process described in the Company's news release dated October 7, 2020

Most of the 200 kg of sample material was collected from one occurrence known as the Pollucite Dyke. It was drilled by Avalon in 2001 and a preliminary resource was estimated in 2001 to contain roughly 340,000 tonnes grading 2.294% Cs2O and 0.037% Ta2O5* based on 9 holes drilled to a maximum vertical depth of 250 metres. The resource is open to depth and along strike for expansion. Other similar pollucite-bearing LCT pegmatite dykes on the property remain untested.

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 US$2,200/kg and is leased to oil well drilling companies and recycled after use. Other cesium products often sell at prices from US$200-1,000/kg. Cesium has a variety of other high technology applications, including extremely accurate atomic clocks, and great potential in a range of applications in the production of electricity, in electronics, and in chemistry.

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