Latin Resources’ third spodumene discovery proves there’s plenty more lithium at Salinas
Special Report: Latin Resources has made a third major spodumene discovery along the highly prospective Salinas lithium corridor in Brazil after assaying returned high-grade results.
The new find comes on the heels of a major 56% increase in the global resource at the Salinas project to 70.3Mt @ 1.27% Li2O in December, which also sent higher confidence measured and indicated resources at the flagship Colina deposit from 45.2Mt @ 1.32% up to 63.5Mt @ 1.3% Li2O
Significantly for Latin Resources (ASX:LRS), this ranks Colina – adjacent to Sigma Lithium’s (TSXV:SGML) 766,000tpa Grota do Cirilo project – as one of the largest scale Tier-1 undeveloped lithium resources globally.
Colina is also the subject of an attractive preliminary economic assessment (essentially a scoping study) for a two-phase 3.6Mtpa standalone mining and processing operation delivering an after-tax NPV of A$3.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) and combined after-tax IRR of 132%.
The new Planalto discovery about 1.8km southwest of the Colina resource footprint was originally discovered by hole SADD223 – part of the 2023 scout drilling program, which was drilled to test a structural and geophysical anomaly.
SADD223 was drilled to a final depth of 450m and intersected pegmatites where LRS previously identified ~45m of visually estimated coarse-grained spodumene mineralisation.
Assaying has now returned high-grade intersections of 9.5m @ 1.21% Li2O from 395.29m and 16.14m @ 1.29% Li2O from 425m, including 7.14m @ 1.63% Li2O from 434m which correlates with the visual estimates of high-grade spodumene mineralisation in the drill core.
The results also validate the company’s identification of a significant lithium mineralisation discovery at the Planalto prospect.
Mineralogy and structural controls at the prospect are believed to be similar to those encountered at the Colina deposit, consisting primarily of spodumene, feldspar, and quartz.
This has the potential to extend the known continuity of mineralisation further along strike and down-dip of Colina.
Additionally, while the lithium mineralisation at Planalto was encountered at depth, the LRS exploration team believes the system extends updip towards surface.
“2023 was a busy year for the exploration team, resulting in a series of major upgrades and increases to the Colina mineral resource, the declaration of a maiden mineral resource at Fog’s Block, and the discovery of the new high-grade Planalto prospect,” LRS vice president of operations – Americas Tony Greenaway said.
“With an increase to 16 diamond drilling rigs across the project, 2024 will be an equally busy year for us. While our primary focus early in the year will be on the development of the Colina deposit for the planned declaration of mineral reserves for the DFS, we will continue our highly successful exploration drilling programs at both Planalto and Fog’s Block, as well as advancing other target areas toward drill ready status.
“The Salinas project is shaping up to be world class, with two lithium deposits already defined, a potentially significant new discovery at Planalto, and a large portfolio of peripheral tenements still to explore.”
Separately, LRS has received further high-grade results for 25 diamond holes at the Colina deposit.
Notable assays include:
LRS has also submitted its environmental impact assessment and environmental impact report (collectively known as the EIA-RIMA), noting that progress towards achievement of environmental permitting and mining licensing to enable a final investment decision by Q4 2024 remains on track.
The company has selected and mobilised key DFS contractors with Worley Engineering appointed as engineering design team and MinSol Engineering appointed as process engineers.
Expressions of interest for offtake have closed with firm bids received from Tier 1 mining companies, converters, battery manufacturers and metals trading houses.
LRS is also planning for another resource update in Q2 2024 along with the DFS.
“The lodging of our environmental permits for the Salinas project is a significant development milestone. The submission highlights the excellent sustainability principles that will be employed and benefits for local, provincial and national stakeholders,” LRS managing director Chris Gale said.
“In addition to the EIA-RIMA, development activities are progressing at pace, aligned with Latin Resources’ objective of delivering first production by mid-2026.
“We are very pleased to have secured and appointed Mike Drake as our VP of development. Mike adds an incredible wealth of development experience to enable Salinas to be taken into production.”
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.