Eye on Lithium: Australia commits $5.8 million to critical minerals investment partnership with India
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All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, July 5.
Australia has signed an MoU to secure reliable supplies of critical and strategic minerals to India – and committed A$5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.
“Australia has the resources to help India fulfil its ambitions to lower emissions and meet growing demand for critical minerals to help India’s space and defence industries, and the manufacture of solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles,” Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King said.
“Australia welcomes India’s strong interest and support for a bilateral partnership which will help advance critical minerals projects in Australia while diversifying global supply chains.”
The MoU includes jointly funded due diligence in Lithium and Cobalt mineral assets of Australia to the tune of around US$6 million.
It comes after the latest quarterly snapshot of Australia’s resources and energy forecasts that the value of our lithium exports will double from $4.1 billion in 2021-22 to $9.4 billion in 2023-24.
To put this in context, lithium exports were worth $1.1 billion in 2020-21.
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A total of 62 stocks were in the green today, 50 were flat and 18 were in the red.
LPI has become the largest tenement holder in the Greenbushes region, adding CMC Lithium and its Greenbushes project to its portfolio today.
This gives the company an extra 365km2 of prospective ground around Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes Mine – the world’s largest hard-rock spodumene operation.
LPI has also picked up two tenements in the Eastern Goldfields of WA, from private company Lysander Lithium, which means the company now holds tenements in each of WA’s three major hard rock lithium areas – Greenbushes, the Pilbara Craton and the Eastern Goldfields.
The aim is to demerge these WA assets into a separate company, Western Lithium, likely through an ASX listing in Q4 2022.
Plus, this would allow LPI to focus in Q3 2022 on the consolidation of ownership of its flagship Chilean joint venture company, Minera Salar Blanco S.A. and the continued development of the Maricunga Lithium Project in Chile.
Argosy says production well rotary drilling works are kicking off this week at its Rincon project in Argentina, with resource expansion diamond drilling set to commence next week.
The aim of the production well drilling is to facilitate preparation of an updated brine ore reserve estimate and upgraded feasibility study.
“This in turn enhances the long-term viability and status of our project, and with lithium price forecasts remaining strong with expected increasing demand, Argosy’s pathway to being a battery quality lithium carbonate producer and cashflow generator is nearing, and we look forward to a significant near-term growth phase from our operations this year and beyond at our Rincon Lithium Project,” MD Jerko Zuvela said.
Currently the project’s life-of-mine estimate of 16.5 years at a 10,000tpa Li2CO3 production rate, or an 11 year life-of- mine at a 15,000tpa Li2CO3 production rate.
As you may have guessed, resource expansion drilling aims to materially expand the current JORC Indicated Resource, increase project mine-life and future annual production capacity.
The combined JORC indicated mineral resource and exploration target estimates outline the potential for a range of up to 507,000 tonnes to 724,000 tonnes of contained lithium carbonate to a depth of 300m.
The company’s resource drilling at the Dalgaranga critical minerals project in WA has highlighted additional thick pegmatite zones outside of the historical exploration footprint.
Assays are pending but CEO Mark Major says the drilling compliments the thick shallow pegmatite already intersected in the reconnaissance holes to the south, with up to 16m encountered within the upper 30m in one hole (DAL029).
“The potential of the Dalgaranga project has been strengthened with rising demand and prediction of further demand and price increases of critical and strategic metals identified within this pegmatite complex,” he said.
Work is now ongoing to model the pegmatites in detail and compile supplementary data to support a maiden mineral resource estimation.
On positive resource definition the company will undertake initial metallurgical test work to identify suitable product suites from the various zones within the pegmatite complex.