Eye on Lithium: India and Australia team up for lithium and cobalt exploration
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All your ASX lithium news for Wednesday, March 30.
India has committed to jointly invest US$6 million with our Federal government to explore for lithium and cobalt in Australia over the next six months.
KABIL, a mining joint venture between India’s state-run firms National Aluminium Co, Hindustan Copper Ltd and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd, signed a preliminary agreement with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO).
The plan is to carry out joint due diligence of select greenfield and brownfield projects to identify lithium and cobalt mineral assets.
It’s part of India’s push to secure supplies for electric vehicle (EV) production, with the country recently offering $2.4b in incentives for companies to build battery cells locally.
But India is hedging its bets, having also shortlisted Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile for exploring mines of strategic minerals.
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A total of 42 stocks were in the green today, with 30 flatlining and 35 in the red.
More high-grade lithium from Brazil for LRS, peaking at 3.22%.
Ore grade is usually around 1%, so this is good stuff.
First assay results from the initial two drill holes at the ‘Southern Target’ area of the ‘Salinas’ project “have confirmed a potential new high-grade lithium discovery”, LRS says.
Highlights include 4.31m at 2.22% Li2O from 83.82m and 8.13m at 2.00% Li2O from 111.3m.
These results continue to give us confidence that we may be onto a potentially major new lithium discovery in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world,” managing director Chris Gale says.
“Lithium grades over two per cent are not common, with most operations in Australia running between one to one and a half per cent lithium.
“Our pegmatite ‘Peg_2’ is running grades of around two per cent lithium, with a peak of over three per cent over one meter, which are very high.”
LRS will now focus the drilling on the much thicker pegmatites to the south, where the pegmatites remain open.
The high-flying stock is up ~230% year-to-date. It has $4.2m in cash and investments.
The company has kicked off exploration at Ragged Range project in WA, with its team focused on priority lithium, nickel and gold targets.
Mapping and sampling of several lithium targets in underway, including the potential lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites which have been identified within the prospective 10km radius of the Split Rock Supersuite.
The plan is to ground truth the 10km halo around the Mondana Monzongranite – which Thor considers the most favourable position for the pegmatites with its tenement package.
The company is doing due diligence on a bunch of WA projects prospective for lithium, nickel-copper-PGEs, and titanium.
CZL says it has firm commitments for a $1.55m placement to fund the due diligence and proposed acquisitions of WestOz Lithium and Pyramid Minerals.
Notably, WestOz holds around 1,000km2 of exploration licence applications in the Pilbara (Pilbara Project) which is near two of the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposits Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora project and Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MIN) Wodgina project.
Plus, it has other tenements near GL1’s Archer project.
Added to that, WestOz has data indicating “significant” mineralised pegmatite outcrops in swarms across all tenements.
“[The] acquisition will provide the company with two growth projects delivering commodity and geographical diversification as we seek to increase exposure to the battery minerals market,” MD Brad Marwood said.
The company has expanded its regional exploration plans at its Coolgardie West project in WA off the back of “significant gold and lithium potential,” it says.
Notably, a pegmatite unit associated with a contiguous Li-Cs-Sn soil anomaly was traced in minor exposures and pits over 1900m strike, and 25 rock samples from shallow excavations in the pegmatite submitted for LCT element assay.
The company says first- pass drilling is required to determine the key characteristics, including mineralogy and geometry – and plans to RC drill multiple traverses over the pegmatite as soon as practicable.
The explorer has identified another high-grade lithium prospect at its Tambourah project in WA through the systematic evaluation of previous rock chip samples collected by Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) in the late 2010s.
The sampling focused on two prospects, the existing Ragdoll occurrence and newly identified Bengal Prospect – both of which appear to have multiple pegmatite intrusives associated with mineralisation.
“Our field crew will be assessing the Bengal Prospect this week and will continue to work through the prospective 26km long mineralised corridor,” CEO Julian Ford said.
“We look forward to providing further updates from our field reconnaissance and evaluation of previous exploration across the Project as we work through the substantial body of historical data.”
The company welcomed an announcement by partner Atlantic Lithium which has updated the mineral resource estimate at its Ewoyaa project in Ghana by a massive 42%.
The project hosts an MRE of 30.1 million metric tonnes at 1.26% lithium, including indicated resources of 20.5 million tonnes at 1.29%.
Piedmont has an earn-in right to a 50% interest in Atlantic’s Ghanan projects – including Ewoyaa – and has a 10% stake in the company.
Piedmont COO Patrick Brindle said that Ewoyaa is one of the best located spodumene projects in Africa.
“Its development is fundamental to our growth strategy as an important source of spodumene concentrate for our LHP-2 project,” he said.
“We look forward to Atlantic Lithium’s completion of a prefeasibility study for the Ewoyaa project, which will both increase the level of engineering definition for the project as well as provide important data needed to advance regulatory approvals for the project.”
Askari says project-wide targeting at its Yarrie project in WA has revealed several high-priority targets which demonstrate the potential to host lithium – and it plans to target them “aggressively” in April.
“The company plans to be aggressive in its execution of exploration activities on the Yarrie project with an aim to mobbing the project up the value curve by way of tangible results,” VP geology and exploration Johan Lambrechts said.
The project borders Kalamazoo Resources’ (ASX:KZR) Marble Bar lithium project – which recently signed a JV with Chilean based producer SQM – and its just 30km from Global Lithium Resources’ (ASX:GL1) Archer project.