Latin Resources set to deliver early Xmas present with a lithium resource upgrade at Colina
Special report: Brazil-focused Latin Resources has a resource upgrade in the works for its Salinas lithium project following the receipt of more high-grade assays.
Since the release of a robust 45.2Mt @ 1.32% Li2O resource over the flagship Colina deposit back in June, Latin Resources (ASX: LTR) has drilled a further 66 holes, including 13 into Fog’s Block.
Best intercepts from the resource expansion drilling at Colina included 15.7m @ 1.59% Li2O from 206.09m, 17m @ 1.55% Li2O from 139m, 13.56m @ 2.03% Li2O and 16.98m @ 1.85% Li2O from 235.54m.
Other significant hits such as 6.94m @ 1.13% Li2O from 278.06m, 15.33m @ 1.03% Li2O from 211.74m, 12.6m @ 1.15% Li2O from 173.4m and 17.52m @ 1.48% Li2O from 250.58m were recorded at Fog’s Block.
LRS vice-president of operations – Americas, Tony Greenaway, said a resource upgrade was anticipated in December.
“This latest update represents a solid five months of drilling, which was focused on extending the Colina deposit to the south-west along the Salina Lithium Corridor, as well as infilling parts of the existing resource model,” he said.
“The geology team on site have been working closely with our independent resource consultants to construct the new wireframes and compile all the necessary data to update our resource model, which will form the basis of the DFS which is scheduled for completion in mid-2024.”
LRS still has 10 diamond rigs turning at Salinas as part of a whopping 65,000m drilling campaign to be completed this year.
The Chris Gale-led company raised $35 million via an oversubscribed placement in October to fund its 2024 drilling program where the focus will pivot towards increasing tonnage and upgrading the confidence level of the Colina resource, as well as identifying and validating some new priority drill targets.
The existing Colina resource hosts 30.2Mt @ 1.4% Li2O in the measured and indicated categories and was based on 135 holes for 39,033m of drill core. A total of 188 holes for 62,650m of drill core has now been completed.
SGS Geological Services has again been tasked with upgrading the Colina resource, having overseen both the maiden estimate in December last year and the most recent update in June this year.
LRS has hinted there will be further resource updates throughout 2024.
“Drilling has not stopped on site, with all 10 rigs still turning,” Greenaway said.
“We have moved our focus to predominantly infill drilling within the new resource footprint, with the aim of increasing the resource classification to enable the declaration of mining reserves, as part of the DFS process.”
Following the planned December resource update, the next major milestone for LRS will be the DFS slated for completion in mid-2024.
The DFS will build on the results of a robust preliminary economic assessment on a 3.6Mtpa standalone mining and processing operation at Colina which forecast an after-tax NPV of $3.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) and IRR of 132%.
Phase 1 capex is estimated at US$253 million with a further US$55 million required for Phase 2. Payback is achieved just seven months from first spodumene production.
LRS is eyeing first production in 2026 with a final investment decision on the project pencilled in for late 2024.
Located in the lithium-rich Bananal Valley region of the pro mining state of Minas Gerais, Colina is a direct neighbour to Sigma Lithium’s (TSXV: SGML) Grota do Cirilo project which entered production earlier this year.
Grota do Cirilo has forecast annual production of 766,000tpa “green” lithium, or 104,000tpa LCE.
This article was developed in collaboration with Latin Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.