Battery Metals: Koppar sketches out zero carbon lithium dreams
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Koppar Resources (ASX:KRX) has fired the starter’s pistol on a scoping study at its Vulcan lithium project in Germany — with the company spruiking the project’s “zero carbon” credentials.
Its appointed Hatch Ltd to do the scoping study, which it said would involve the design of an integrated geothermal and lithium extraction plant.
Koppar is aiming to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide from hot sub-surface geothermal brines.
While geothermal brines usually contain at least some lithium content, at 1-10 milligrams of lithium per litre it’s not really enough to produce lithium hydroxide.
However, the Vulcan field has lithium content of up to 210mg/l — giving the company hope it can produce.
While it’s still early days, the company has a conceptual exploration target of 10.73 to 36.2 million tonnes of contained lithium.
The next steps are to collect all the seismic and geochemical data available in the area — which has seen some petroleum drilling done in the past.
It’s targeting a pre-feasibility study and pilot plant in 2020, a definitive feasibility study in 2021, and construction of a full-scale plant in 2022/23.
Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has produced lithium chloride from a sample of its Paradox Basin brine in the US, meaning it’s firmed up a production process. The sample will be processed into a carbonate, and then sent to customers to test its suitability for use in lithium battery cathodes. The data being curated now will go into the design of a pilot plant Anson is planning on constructing next year.
Finally, BMG Resources (ASX:BMG) will start drilling at Salar West in Chile soon, with drill rigs dispatched. The initial plan is for two holes, each for 200m — and the company told shareholders that the drilling should take about three weeks. It’s following up on two stages of geophysics testing, which identified a “strongly conducive unit” in the southern part of the project, which could mean a hypersaline lithium-bearing brine.