Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT), based in West Perth, Australia is engaged in the extraction, acquisition, recovery and development of lithium deposits as it aims to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metal cycle in a sustainable method. So far, the company has built an extensive portfolio of projects and alliances (see figure below) in different regions worldwide.
Global Footprint; Source: 121 Singapore Conference Presentation
Proprietary Technologies: Besides, the company has also formulated two proprietary (100%-owned) extraction processes to convert lithium silicates (including mine waste) into lithium chemicals-
Lithium Australia had successfully generated lithium phosphate from waste materials using its 100%-owned disruptive SiLeach® process in May 2019, as well as developed, together with ANSTO, a simple means to eliminate impurities from the lithium phosphate resulting in an exceptionally high-purity refined product. The end product is highly suitable for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), and in particular, those with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry.
In addition, the company also proved the veracity of the product in battery production at its wholly-owned VSPC cathode powder pilot plant in Brisbane, Australia.
Going forth, the company plans to create modern components for the LIB industry. Thereafter, also start with the recycling of spent batteries and e-waste and ultimately establish itself as a vertically integrated lithium processing business.
Lithium Australia’s Business Divisions; Source: 121 Singapore Conference Presentation
Youanmi Lithium Project Option – Lithium Australia expanded its footprint in Western Australia upon signing a binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) in December 2018 with the private exploration company Diversity Resources Pty Ltd. The HoA features an option to acquire the three exploration licenses under the Youanmi Project, which represents a potential feed source for the generation of around three pilot plant operations.
The Youanmi Lithium Project is located in the Archean Yilgarn Block, 450 kilometres north-east of Perth, comprises three exploration licenses and features abundant lithium pegmatites that intrude layered mafic rocks.
On 22 May 2019, Lithium Australia announced an Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 185 Mt at 0.33% V2O5 using a cut-off grade of 0.2% V2O5 (within exploration license E57/978), forming a portion of the Youanmi Complex. The company is currently nearing completion of two drilling campaigns as part of its assessment programme for the Youanmi Project.
So far until 15 July 2019, the company had completed 37 RC holes up till 1,579 metres on the lithium target measuring 3-km by 200-metre. The first assay results are expected before the end of July 2019, and the drilling is expected to continue for another fourteen days (counting from 17 July).
In addition to lithium drilling, the company has drilled 4 RC holes (252 metres) for vanadium, and the drilling samples have been sent out for chemical analysis in Perth, and metallurgical testing at Sydney, Australia-based ANSTO.
In light of the significant results, LIT is planning on starting a geochemical soil-sampling programme over the Dudley prospect and surrounding areas where anomalous lithium values were obtained from pegmatite float. In addition, Detailed geological mapping as well as petrological examination and XRD analyses of rock samples, are also being considered. The follow-up program work at Dudley is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of CY2019.
Manager – Raw Materials – On 15 July 2019, Lithium Australia announced to have appointed Mr Mark Strizek to the position of Manager – Raw Materials. Mr Strizek holds over 20 years’ experience in the resource industry across Australia, Africa and Europe.
Increased equity share in Envirostream – On 20 June 2019, Lithium Australia confirmed that it had secured an additional equity stake in Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd via a subscription of $ 100,000, reflecting a shareholding of 11.76%.
Moving forward, LIT, in line with its agreement with Victoria-based Envirostream, would progressively increase its stake to 18.91% in the latter and the proceeds are expected to be utilised by Envirostream in increasing in enhancing its capacity for the recycling of LIBs.
Background – Lithium Australia announced on 4 April 2019 that it would acquire a total of 560 shares (18.9%) of Envirostream’s issued capital in four tranches through to 15 August 2019. According to the company, the technical partnership would club the key skills of both the parties while enabling expanded operations for Envirostream, thereby confirming that critical metals recovered from recycled batteries remain within Australian borders until the point of sale.
Stock Performance: Lithium Australia has a market capitalisation of around AUD 27.19 million, with approximately 533.06 million shares outstanding. LIT was trading at AUD 0.050 (as at AEST: 1:20 PM, 24 July 2019).
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