The first-quarter update from Bacanora Minerals Ltd (LON:BCN,CVE:BCN) charted a period of significant progress at its flagship Sonara Lithium Project, where it has received environmental sign-off for mining from the Mexican authorities.
It has also secured access rights to the deposit, while work continues on its feasibility study. This includes metallurgical tests being carried out by SGS Laboratories in Perth, Western Australia, and mine planning and equipment selection.
The large-scale lithium-carbonate pilot plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, is being used to develop battery-grade output, while helping optimise the operation of full-scale production.
Turning to the financials, the company said it was fully funded with US$24mln in the bank at the end of September.
Market conditions continue to work in its favour with the proliferation of electric vehicles whose power plants use lithium at their core, the company said. This is reflected in the pricing of lithium carbonate, which remains robust.
Bacanora part-owns the Zinwald Lithium Project in the German state of Saxony. A feasibility study is underway to “demonstrate the economic viability of producing higher value downstream lithium products for the European battery and automotive sectors”. This should be complete by 2019.
As is common with companies at this formative stage of their development, Bacanora was loss-making – to the tune of just under US$2.2mln for the three months.