The company’s raw materials division is charged with establishing a quality lithium resource base in order to provide options for feeding into downstream processing facilities that may include LIT’s 100%-owned LieNA® process.
Lithium Australia is considering sourcing lithium minerals from mine-waste streams (historical dumps and tailings) or as discharge from currently operating mines as well as evaluating primary supply opportunities, which includes the Medcalf prospect.
Drilling to begin in June quarter
In April 2019 the company identified a cluster of stacked pegmatite dikes with abundant spodumene, outcropping over a strike length of 450 metres and a width of 100 metres.
Additionally, a lithium-in-soil geochemistry anomaly suggested possible extensions under cover and spodumene samples returned very low levels of deleterious elements.
Subject to receiving the necessary approvals, the drilling programme will be completed during the second quarter of 2020 and will comprise about 12 reverse circulation drill holes for 2,500 metres with provision for additional holes.
Mt Deans East lithium transaction
The area has been evaluated for lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites over many years, initially with tin and tantalum as the exploration focus.
More recently, lithium mineralisation has been discovered and the company said it was this that drew its attention to the region.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will:
- Provide Aruma with $15,000 and issue $75,000 worth of shares in Lithium Australia and keep the tenement in good standing for 9 months to earn a 50% interest;
- Issue a further $50,000 worth of shares and keep the tenement in good standing for 18 months to earn a further 30% interest (total 80% Interest); and
- Contribute to further exploration on a pro-rata basis.
The Mt Deans East prospect is strategically adjacent to the Goldfield Esperance Highway and within close proximity to other developing lithium projects, including the Buldania project of Liontown Resources Limited (ASX: LTR) and the Pioneer Dome project of Pioneer Resources Ltd (ASX:PIO).
Lithium Austrlaia’s LieNA® process
The company continues to advance development of its 100%-owned LieNA® process, which represents an innovative and potentially more efficient treatment route for the lithium mineral spodumene.
In February Lithium Australia announced it had been awarded a grant totalling $1.3 million by the Australian federal government’s Co-operative Research Centre Projects initiative, to support the next stage of the $3.6 million LieNA® research and development programme.
Pioneer has provided Lithium Australia with a 5-tonne sample of spodumene ore grading approximately 1.2% Li2O from its Cade and Davy deposits.
That sample will be beneficiated to yield a concentrate then used by ANSTO to extract lithium using the LieNA® process.