• SQM is set to become a cornerstone investor in Azure Minerals for A$20m
  • Lake doubles Kachi measured and indicated resources to 2.2 million tonnes LCE
  • RMI flags “highly encouraging” lithium assay results from due diligence in Finland 


All your ASX lithium news for Wednesday, January 11


In a big win for WA explorer Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS)  global lithium producer Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile subsidiary SQM will invest $20m for a 19.99% stake in the company through a two-stage transaction.

Not only has Azure managed to attract a major strategic investor, SQM is investing at a price of $0.2564 per share — a 13.9% premium to Azure’s last traded price of $0.225 per share on 6 January 2023.

“This is a significant milestone event and is a strong endorsement of Azure and our projects by one of the world’s leading lithium producers,” MD Tony Rovira said. 

“The new relationship will allow Azure to draw upon SQM’s technical expertise in pegmatite-hosted lithium exploration, project development, production and marketing, providing Azure with strong support as we look to develop the Andover lithium assets. 

“Azure is now in a very strong financial position and, following completion of both tranches of the transaction with SQM, Azure will have a cash balance of more than $25 million which will be used to accelerate lithium exploration through a program of intensive drilling across the Andover Project.” 

SQM has already made an initial A$4.2m investment and is poised to invest a further A$15.8m subject to satisfying certain conditions precedent.

Notably, it’s not the first time SQM has jumped into an Aussie project, with the producer also in a joint venture with Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) in the Mt Holland lithium project, which will be a fully-integrated operation capable of producing about 50,000t of battery-quality lithium hydroxide from its plant at Kwinana, Western Australia.


AZS share price today:


Here’s how ASX lithium stocks were tracking today:

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A total of 57 stocks were in the green, 50 were flat and 30 were red.


Who has news out today? 


Lake has updated the mineral resource for its Kachi brine project in Argentina – doubling the measured and indicated (M&I) resources to 2.2 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) defined to a depth of 400 m over 81 km2.

Surrounding the M&I resources are inferred resources of 3.1 Mt LCE defined over 117 km2.

The lithium grade of the measured resource (0-400 m) across the salar is 212 mg/L lithium, the indicated resource immediately southeast is 178 mg/l lithium.

The company says additional assays are pending to expand the area of high confidence (M&I) resources, and that it is currently in the process of installing test production wells for pumping and reinjection aquifer testing as part of the project DFS. 



The company has received “highly encouraging” lithium and base metal assay results from field survey work undertaken to complete the due diligence program for the acquisition of the three Finland projects.

Field work has returned lithium results up to 2.4% Li2O at the Kola project and up to 3.9% Li2O at the Hirvikallio project.

RMC has executed a Share Swap Agreement (SSA) to acquire all the issued shares in Element92 Pte Ltd, which via Finland domiciled subsidiary, Element92 Suomi Oy, holds the exploration reservations for the three projects. 

“We are extremely pleased with the results from this initial field work undertaken as part of our due diligence and now that we have executed the Share Swap Agreement, we look forward to the next phases of exploration,” executive chairman Asimwe Kabunga said.

“We believe the three projects have shown there is the potential to discover economic resources of lithium and base metals, and we are working on the conversion of the reservation permits to exploration licences so we can commence drilling and other exploration activities across the projects.” 



BNR has identified a new high grade spodumene pegmatite at its Ravensthorpe lithium project, which returned rock chip assays of 4.81% Li2O, 4.67% Li2O, 4.31% Li2O and 3.54% Li2O. 

The new pegmatite has now grown the Western Pegmatite Trend to 3km in length. The mapping of other target areas identified from LIDAR and high resolution imagery is continuing.

Meanwhile, the company is progressing clearing and drilling permits.


LKE, RMI and BNR share prices today:




Assays from the company’s maiden drilling at the Trigg Hill project in WA have confirmed the presence of lithium, with numerous intercepts of anomalous lithium, tantalum and tin and a peak assay of 1.41% Li2O from spodumene bearing pegmatites. 

Phase 2 drilling has been completed with assays pending.

“The confirmation of the presence of spodumene bearing pegmatites is an important step in exploration,” executive director Myles Fang says.

“ECRC009 was drilled in the most north-eastern part of the Curlew area tested in phase 1. “Phase 2 drilling has apparently extended the known limits of pegmatites in the eastern Curlew area. 

“Phase 3 drilling will aim to extend the zones of fractionated pegmatite swarms at both Curlew and Trigg Hill and to continue to test soil anomalies to the east of Curlew. 

“Up to now, Trigg Hill is one of the limited number of locations in the Pilbara where spodumene has been confirmed in drilling.” 



Aruma has flagged further high-grade lithium-rubidium intersections from its final batches of assays from the recently completed drilling program at the Mt Deans Lithium-Rubidium Project in WA.

A total of 12 intersections graded >1.5% lithium-rubidium, with best results including 8m at 1.89% Li2O+Rb2O from 26m and 5m at 1.51% Li2O+Rb2O from 55m.

Also of note, is the high potassium values, of up to 3.6%, with significant cesium (up to 0.6%) and tin-tantalum (600ppm and 700ppm). 

Based on the continuing positive results from its drilling and exploration activities at Mt Deans, Aruma says it may look to identify micaceous pegmatites with high-grade (>1.5% Li2O+Rb2O) Lithium- Rubidium-Cesium-Potassium ore, which, conceptually, may potentially “be capable of being concentrated using simple froth flotation/gravity circuits to produce a saleable lithium-potassium concentrate, with valuable rubidium and cesium by-products with possible tin and tantalum gravity concentrates.”



Red Dirt has mobilised 5 drill rigs to site to commence a 60,000 metre drilling campaign at the Mt Ida project. 

The work will test regional exploration targets and extend and upgrade previously reported resources of 12.7Mt at 1.2% Li2O.

The program will also gather data to establish geotechnical parameters for pit wall angles, sterilise ground for waste dumps and process infrastructure, and include grade control drilling in advance of detailed mine development studies at both the Sister Sam and Timoni deposits. 

The company says its on track to lodge mining approvals documentation with the WA State Government in early February with the intention to start mining operations in the December quarter 2023. 

RDT has also kicked off a 90,000 metre program at the recently acquired Yinnetharra project, which is targeted at discovering and defining new lithium deposits ahead of resource drilling planned for later in 2023. 

The company has identified 40 targets to be tested in 2023, with 2 rigs on site and a third due to arrive later this quarter. 


EFE, AAJ and RDT share prices today:


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