The Pilbara region of Western Australia is emerging as “the greatest lithium province in the world,” says Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin.

The $60 million explorer (ASX:LIT) just bought a lithium, tin and tantalum licence in WA’s renowned Pilbara region as a potential feed source for its lithium processing technology.

The Pilbara — best known for iron ore and most recently a gold nugget rush — has recently become the focus for lithium explorers. The $1.5 billion Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) play is now mining from its massive Pilgangoora lithium and tantalum project – one of the largest hard-rock lithium projects in the world.

Lithium Australia’s new Moolyella project lies 18km east-southeast of the township of Marble Bar and 160km south-east of Port Hedland.

“The abundance of fertile granites and associated pegmatites in the Pilbara has seen the region emerge as the greatest lithium province in the world,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.

“There remains great potential for further discoveries and Moolyella has all the right ingredients.”

Lithium Australia believes the Moolyella project, which it bought for $50,000 in cash and shares, hosts outcropping (surface) pegmatites up to 15m thick and extending for around 700m.

Pegmatites are rocks formed from lava or magma that are the primary source of lithium.

Lithium Australia shares (ASX:LIT) over the past year.
Lithium Australia shares (ASX:LIT) over the past year.

The company says the pegmatites contain abundant lithium micas often associated with alluvial deposits of tin and tantalum.

Lithium micas are a preferred feed for its trademark SiLeach® process, which is designed to convert all lithium silicates to lithium chemicals, from which advanced components for the battery industry can be created.

The company plans to build a large-scale pilot plant that is fed by spodumene concentrates from Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora project.

Spodumene is the main lithium bearing mineral mined from most hard rock lithium mines around the world.