Lithium Wrap: Vulcan signs key offtake, Infinity tumbles on permitting issues
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Vulcan today announced the signing of a binding lithium offtake with LG Energy Solution (LGES) – the largest producer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in the world.
LGES will purchase 5,000 metric tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide for the first year of the supply term, ramping up to 10,000 metric tonnes per year during the second and subsequent years from Vulcan’s geothermal lithium brine project in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany.
“This is the first binding lithium offtake term sheet for the zero carbon lithium project, so it is fitting that it is with the largest EV battery producer in the world,” managing director Dr. Francis Wedin said.
“LGES’s operations are of course global, but it is already producing batteries in Europe.
“The agreement is in line with our strategy to work with tier one battery and automotive companies in the European market.”
The five-year agreement can be extended by a further five years, with the start of commercial delivery set for 2025 and pricing based on market prices for lithium hydroxide.
The stock is up 1800% over the past 12 months.
But it’s not all good news in the lithium sphere.
Infinity’s chances of developing its 75% owned San José lithium project in Spain is looking grim after the General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Regional Government of Extremadura (Junta) rejected an appeal against the recent denial of the project’s all important research permit Investigation Permit Valdeflórez (PIV).
The company says the decision is in direct breach of the law and in contradiction of previous rulings by the Junta.
“The administrative and legal resolution in the face of the same facts cannot change its criteria to suit political endeavours and the company is confident of a positive resolution under the rule of Spanish law,” Infinity CEO and managing director Ryan Parkin said.
The company is gearing up to start an extensive exploration and drilling program across its WA lithium tenements — particularly those immediately adjacent to the large Greenbushes lithium mine.
A detailed magnetic survey is planned for September 2021 over the ‘Blackwood’ prospect, which mapping has shown contains pegmatites.
A detailed fauna survey and assessment will commence at East Kirup in August 2021 with an initial 1600m RC Drilling program to follow at the East Kirup lithium anomaly in December.
A further 1600m RC program is currently pending approval at East Kirup.
“We are excited about the upcoming planned exploration and drilling campaigns at the Greenbushes project, where we have several interesting targets that justify drilling to establish characteristics of the pegmatite mineralisation,” LPI’s chief executive officer Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro said.
“We consider the Greenbushes properties to be highly attractive for lithium pegmatite discoveries and we’re looking forward to updating the market with the results as they come to hand.”
The explorer is starting 5,000m air-core/hammer drilling program this week to test for new lithium-bearing pegmatites near ‘Dome North’ lithium deposit at its Pioneer Dome lithium project in WA.
The aim is to explore for further spodumene-bearing pegmatites and expand the existing 11 million tonne mineral resource base to a sufficient size to support a standalone mining operation.
“This drill program is based on a new interpretation of the basement geology in the Dome North area which shows strong potential for LCT pegmatites in previously untested areas,” managing director Tim Spencer said.
“The existing mineral resource of 11.2Mt at 1.21% lithium (Li2O) at Dome North currently centres on three NNE-SSW striking, outcropping pegmatites which are spaced at approximately one-kilometre intervals.
“This next phase of drilling will test a number of highly promising locations between and along strike of these pegmatites.”
Assay results are expected towards the end of September.