Eye on Lithium: Imerys enters the lithium space with the goal of becoming a major European player
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All your lithium news, Wednesday October 26.
French-based company, Imerys, has been producing kaolin for the ceramics industry since the late 19th century but on Monday it announced its entrance into the lithium space with a new ‘landmark’ project.
The results from a series of assessments carried out at the EMILI Beauvoir Lithium Mining Project in France has confirmed the deposit has “very attractive” concentrations and quantities of lithium.
Imerys says it is aiming to produce 34,000t of lithium hydroxide per year from 2028, making the group a leading supplier to the European battery market and a key player in the global lithium industry.
“This project is a response to the challenges introduced by the energy transition,” the company explains.
“It offers a long-term solution that addresses Europe’s decarbonisation ambitions while also increasing French and European sovereignty by reducing dependency on imports.”
While Imerys market cap is fraction of Albemarle, SQM et al, it is a much bigger company: about 3x the size.
It is diversified: 30 different minerals from 100 different deposits.
Ie Imerys gets speciality markets both on the supply side and demand side.
— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) October 24, 2022
Finally, Imerys is already in battery raw materials – primarily with its synthetic graphite operation in Switzerland. And carbon black. #anode
All in all, this is one to watch, especially for the European electric vehicle market.
— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) October 24, 2022
34 companies finished in the green, 47 fell flat and 52 tumbled into the red zone.
Exploration work carried out by Gold Mountain and Mars Mines geologists has uncovered the presence of lithium-bearing pegmatites across a couple of its projects in Brazil.
According to the company, these pegmatites are present on both the Custodia and Juremal projects, while initial updates on the Cerro Cora and Porta D’Agua project remain pending and the Jacurici Project yet to be visited.
Through field observations, numerous pegmatites of varying widths (0.5 to 5m, and one pegmatite swarm up to ~300m wide) which has been traced for 1100 metres in strike length, have been identified but further mapping is required to confirm full continuity and trace the further extent of the swarm.
“I am very pleased with feedback I am receiving from the geological team in the field, and it is exciting to hear that they have observed pegmatite outcrops potentially containing spodumene in this first pass reconnaissance program,” CEO Tim Cameron says.
This initial reconnaissance survey took about 10 days to complete with the geologists visiting three out of the four project areas.
Under a new agreement, European Lithium will see its wholly owned subsidiary – European Lithium AT Investments (the holder of the Wolfsberg project) roll into a new company named ‘Critical Minerals Group’, which will merged with NASDAZQ listed Sizzle Acquisition Corp.
In return, the company will be issued US$750m worth of shares in Critical Minerals, equivalent to an 80% interest.
Here’s where it gets really interesting is that Critical Minerals will have an implied market capitalisation of US$972m (AUD $1.5b) and pro forma enterprise value of US$838m.
Following shareholder approval, Odessa has been granted the acquisition of the Lyndon Rare Earth-Lithium Project, marking a “major milestone” as it moves towards the exploration phase.
The company has already identified seven targets for potential REE mineralisation on a broad zone of pegmatites within these tenements which have elevated lithium grades in soils.
ENT has identified pegmatites with significant mineralisation – up to 0.97% Li2O in reverse circulation (RC) holes at the Mandilla Project in Western Australia.
Other intervals of 8m at 0.3% Li2O and 7m at 0.4% Li2O and 12m at 0.45% Li2O from pegmatites have also been returned.
The company is now planning RC drilling to define the aerial extent, geometry and nature of the pegmatite or pegmatites, and the bedrock grade of lithium related mineralisation.
AZL has signed a strategic partnership with Cemvita Factory (Cemvita) to utilise its portable organic lixiviant production plant at the company’s newly established Lithium Research Centre.
Cemvita intends to revolutionise the mining industry by lowering the carbon footprint using industrial biotechnology – its technology has significant potential to improve lithium recovery, lower extraction costs, and improve ESG performance.
Arizona Lithium will fast track the development of the Big Sandy Project, with further processing and extraction test work to be undertaken at the Company’s recently established Lithium Research Centre.
The Lithium Research Centre will function as a technology incubator focused on the extraction of lithium from a variety of ores and brines, as well as the production of battery-grade lithium chemicals for current and future battery technologies.
Global Lithium has completed the placement of 49.5m shares at 2.25 per share to raise around $111.4m which will be spent towards the Manna Project transaction, exploration, as well as on the Manna feasibility study, approvals, permitting and camp infrastructure.
“This raising demonstrates strong support of our conviction in our two high quality lithium projects and management and the Board’s exploration and development strategy,” GL1 managing director Ron Mitchell says.
“We now have the proceeds to see us through to the completion of the Manna feasibility study, which we expect to complete and release to the market in the second half of 2023.”
Consolidated Zinc’s exploration program commenced on September 22nd at the Camel Creek /Ant Hill licenses and the first sampling and evaluation trip to the region has been completed
Reconnaissance outcrop rock chip sampling is being undertaken, while inspecting possible areas of mineralisation with the aim of assessing the possible lithium grade of the outcrops.
The comprehensive reconnaissance program will continue over the next month with the aim to locate and sample LCT pegmatites containing lithium mineralisation, and to define high priority areas for follow-up sampling and ultimately drilling.
Significant lithium pegmatites have been confirmed during a drilling program of eight reverse circulation drill holes for a total of 719m.
The company says several of these drill holes have intersected pegmatite of significant thickness at varying depths, providing greater understanding of pegmatite morphology within the project area and assisting with pegmatite delineation.
Ragusa now plans to continue RC drilling until the wet season prohibits further site access and operations, and subject to regulatory approval via an MMP variation, seek to continue the drilling program during the wet season via diamond drilling operation.