Lithium Power International shares jumped nearly 17 per cent on Wednesday morning on news it has improved the purity of the lithium carbonate from its Maricunga project in Chile.

Meanwhile Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) also made gains after uncovering more high-grade lithium at its project in North Carolina (see below).

Lithium Power (ASX:LPI) told investors it could now produce 99.9 per cent purity from concentrated brine at the project.

That’s an improvement on the 99.4 per cent lithium carbonate product produced earlier this year.

The higher purity product “clearly exceeds battery grade requirements and will continue to generate interest from possible off-take partners”, chief Martin Holland said.

Lithium, a metal used in the production of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, is mined from three types of deposits: brines, pegmatites and sedimentary rocks.

Lithium brine deposits are found in salt lakes and play an important role in the world’s supply of lithium. In 2015, subsurface brines yielded about half of the world’s lithium production.

The biggest producers of lithium brines are in South America and include Chile and Argentina.

Lithium Power’s shares were up 13.9 per cent at 37c just after 11am AEST on Wednesday.

LPI shares over the past year.
LPI shares over the past year.

High grades spur buying

Piedmont Lithium shares were up 3.5 per cent at 15c by 11.30am AEST on the back of news of high-grade lithium at its project in North Carolina.

Shares were up 3.5 per cent at 15c by 11.15am AEST.

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Results from a 20,000m drilling campaign show thick intercepts hosting grades of between 1.16 per cent and 2.15 per cent.

Typical grades of a hard rock mine range from 0.9 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

Piedmont is aiming to release a maiden resource by the end of the second quarter.