Australian mining company focused on the development of lithium projects, Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) has released an interview with the Managing Director Steve Promnitz, where he has discussed about the Company’s recent developments including the transportation of additional 20K litres brine from the Kachi Lithium Project as well as the future developments of the Company.
Post the announcement, LKE stock soared up by 5.9% to $0.036 on 23 Aril 2020.
As reported by the Company on 20 April 2020, additional 20K litres of brines from the Kachi Project were transported to the pilot plant of Lake’s technology partner Lilac Solutions located in California, with an intention to produce additional samples of battery grade lithium carbonate for downstream parties.
In totality, 40K litres of brine from the Kachi Project have been transported, including 20K in an initial phase . This shall ensure that the Company has continuity of supply of requisite sample sizes to meet the growing demand from potential stakeholders.
LKE Proceeds Smoothly Amid COVID-19 Restrictions
The Managing Director confirmed that the initially transported 20K litres of brine are currently being processed at the pilot plant in California, though with a slight delay amidst the COVID-19 restrictions.
LKE remains operational in both California as well as in Argentina. Moreover, LKE remains optimistic that its well progressing operations shall ensure that the Company receives the results soon and share the same with the stakeholders.
Amidst current health crisis, health and safety measures are in place at LKE’s sites in Argentina as well as California to ensure employees safety and keep the operations of the Company going smoothly.
Twofold Reasons for Sending Another Batch of Kachi Brine
Firstly, when the pilot plant has processed the current batch of 20k litres, LKE intends to have another batch available on hand for processing. Post the announcement in February regarding the processing of the brine at the pilot plant, there has been a significant increase in the number of the potential off-takers.
This compels LKE to ensure that the Company has enough samples being produced at Lilac’s direct extraction ion exchange pilot plant in California without any process delay during current uncertain times.
Secondly, LKE has taken this batch from several different holes so that the Company can get a full suite across the current resource and make certain that it receives consistent results coming out across the board.
On the PFS front, the Mr Promnitz stated that the Company had gathered a lot of data that has gone into the PFS from LKE’s lab work and the results that are yet to come out soon. Over the next few months, LKE shall go into the next stage of the definitive feasibility study.
Importantly, LKE has obtained consistent results strengthening its market position. Moreover, given the current uncertain situation that the world is currently facing, LKE is fortunate to be able to continue advancing the project and the new technology.
Mr Promnitz highlighted three key areas that remain the focus of the Company after the PFS:
- First, to gather enough samples and present the same to off-takers so that LKE has something more than just a letter of intent with downstream participants. Moreover, LKE’s high purity product of LKE in the market is likely to place the Company in a better position.
- Second, once the pilot plant has been operational for a few months, LKE shall move those modules to Argentina and looks forward to operating them on-site.
- Thirdly, LKE looks forward to advancing the next stage of the definitive feasibility study together with financing so that LKE is better placed for funding the construction of the project sometime next year, given all things respond well.
Outlook for Lithium
Mr Promnitzs is of the view that the reduced pollution levels due to the shutdown and the visible improvements in the environment across the globe is likely to offer a social framework for supporting the move towards electric mobility.
Even if this does not influence the sales for the electric mobility/electric vehicles in the near term, this shall certainly make people much positively predisposed towards it.
Moreover, the legislation of electric vehicles in Europe is expected to help the sales in the future. However, there might be a delay in the same for the next six to nine months, just like most of the industry participants have been predicting for almost every industry across the globe.
As automakers are currently closed, the pricing of lithium could be soft in the near term, and as the car manufacturers reopen they shall resume their focus.
Mr Promnitzs believes that the best part of such an unwanted situation like COVID-19 is that people are able to see the benefits of the efforts that have been put by working together for a cleaner world and electric vehicles and electric storage of renewables. LKE is optimistic that this shall certainly bring out the positive for lithium players in coming times.