Eye on Lithium: Global lithium supply needs to increase 42 times in 17 years, says US
Link copied to
All your lithium news, Tuesday, May 30.
While the number 42 may be the answer to the universe, it could also be one of the answers on our journey towards becoming a cleaner planet.
US officials reckon that the global supply of lithium alone needs to increase 42X by 2050 to meet the rising demand for electric vehicles, even though investment in clean technologies (yep, this means digging lithium too), is significantly outpacing spending on fossil fuels.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) agrees, as it estimates US$1.7 TRILLION – about 60% of our global energy spend of US$2.8 trillion – this year will go on clean tech, including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps. The paltry remainder will be spent on coal, gas and oil.
“Clean energy is moving fast – faster than many people realise. This is clear in the investment trends, where clean technologies are pulling away from fossil fuels,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.
“For every dollar invested in fossil fuels, about 1.7 dollars are now going into clean energy. Five years ago, this ratio was one-to-one.
“One shining example is investment in solar, which is set to overtake the amount of investment going into oil production for the first time.”
There were 33 lithium players in the green today, 61 had no change in price, while 51 fell in price.
PAM has added to its list of lithium discoveries, finding new pegmatite zones at the Bang I Tum lithium prospect, within its Reung Kiet Lithium project in southern Thailand.
The first assay was received from a recent drilling campaign and is consistent with the company’s exploration target of 8-14mt @ 0.5%-0.8% Li2O at the project.
Drilling is ongoing at the prospect, with two holes underway and another 11 pending assays at the lab.
“Initial assays and visual observations at the Bang I Tum lithium prospect are very pleasing, supporting the exploration target and indicating new extensions to the mineralised zones. Robust lithium assays have been reported in hole BTDD007,” PAM MD Paul Lock said.
“Visual observations in most other holes support and improve our initial expectations for the program.
“The next batch of assay results is due in June, and we are already drilling holes BTDD022 and 023, meaning we can expect an inaugural mineral resource estimate for Bang I Tum to be reported later this year.
“Successfully incorporating Bang I Tum into the inventory will boost the scale of our project, making it more attractive as a strategic mineral resource in South East Asia.”
GL1 sent an ore sample from its Manna lithium project to Steinert’s ore sorting test facility in Perth, and boy, are they glad they did — first-stage ore sorting returned a huge 90% increase in lithium head grade from 0.88% Li2O to 1.67% Li2O.
GL1 says the ore sorting trial work will help improve the available tonnes of lithium pegmatite ore that can be economically mined at Manna, as it allows larger areas to be mined.
Ore sorting solutions can also help reduce the plant size in the downstream stages of processing and beneficiation to reduce overall costs.
There’s also the potential for direct shipping ore (DSO) concentrates to be created at low cost in small, remote mining installations, improving transport costs and reaping higher prices per tonne at market.
GL1 project director Tony Chamberlain said the initial ore sorting results have shown the technology is a perfect fit for Manna and more samples have been collected for further large-scale trials.
“The Manna lithium project has the distinct advantage of having great visual control between ore, which is predominantly white in colour, and surrounding waste rock which appears dark grey to black,” Chamberlain said.
“Additional bulk diamond core has been obtained from Manna and further samples are being prepared for larger scale trials.
“Ore sorting technology will ultimately provide greater operational flexibility within the mining operation and increase head grade to the mill.
“We look forward to updating the market with further results from these trials as activities continue towards completion of the Manna DFS by December 2023.”
PR1 is making its move into Quebec by kicking off the next phase of exploration at its Laforge lithium project.
The explorer will be getting boots on the ground with APEX Geoscience to complete mapping and sampling during the summer months with the aim of delineating targets for follow-up drill testing.
A heap of outcropping pegmatites have already been mapped and will provide a primary focus for current exploration wortk.
The project area is 261km2 and located is 65km northeast of Patriot’s CV5 lithium discovery and Corvette’s lithium trend to the southwest, and exhibits similarities with both projects.
“We’re very excited to commence exploration properly on the Laforge lithium project that follows on from an opportunistic fieldwork campaign completed late last year,” PR1 executive chairman Patric Glovac said.
“The previous field work was completed on less than 5% of Pure’s 261km2 landholding and the company is looking forward to building on the previous work with the goal of generating targets for follow-up drill testing.
“We maintain the belief that the Laforge Lithium project represents a genuine opportunity to discover a significant lithium deposit in a Tier-1 jurisdiction.
“Our technical team have recently visited the Project and are working closely with APEX Geoscience to unlock the Project’s full potential and we look forward to keeping the market updated on results as they come to light.”
LPM has uncovered a 43m thick pegmatite interval downhole from 443m-486m at the Lei prospect within its Bynoe lithium project in the NT.
The first of three holes drilled as part of its Phase 3 drilling program at Lei provides a strong indication of the extension of the pegmatite system at depth and beneath its 2022 intersection which showed 21.2m @ 1.74% Li2O from 398.8m.
“We are delighted with the first hole of Phase 3 drilling at the Lei prospect, which intersected a wide pegmatite interval, suggesting an extension to the 2022 spodumene-bearing pegmatite hit,” LPM chairman Bin Guo said.
“This rapid success at the start of our 2023 program gives us confidence that we may be on the cusp of a highly significant lithium discovery at the Bynoe Project.”
Drilling is ongoing and the company is eagerly awaiting assay results and remains confident for the potential to delineate a maiden resource by Q4 this year.