Lake Resources fast-tracks lithium expansion strategy in Argentina

Lake Resources ASX LKE lithium brine drilling Argentina Olaroz Project
Lake Resources has kicked off its TARGET 100 program with drilling at the Olaroz project.

Clean lithium developer Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) has launched a major expansion and integration strategy in efforts to fast-track its three wholly-owned lithium projects in Argentina into feasibility studies.

The company today announced it is bringing forward its TARGET 100 program, which aims to deliver 100,000 tonnes per annum of high purity lithium to market by 2030.

Lake said the US$15 million (A$21 million) program will accelerate the development of its 100% owned Olaroz, Cauchari and Paso lithium projects to “ensure multi-asset lithium expansion to address the anticipated supply deficit of high purity lithium”.

It follows the planned production at the company’s Kachi lithium brine project being set at 50,000tpa lithium carbonate in its definitive feasibility study.

TARGET 100 program

The drilling program has commenced with the first rotary well of a 4,000-metre, 10-hole program in the northern areas of the Olaroz leases, which cover a 30km long area on the eastern side of established lithium producers including Allkem and the Lithium Americas and Ganfeng joint venture.

The drillholes are designed to quickly quantify brines identified, develop the aquifers and to conduct pumping tests and provide data for initial feasibility studies.

Diamond holes are expected to follow the rotary wells.

Brines will be sampled and tested with a direct lithium extraction method that is similar to previous work conducted on the Kachi project lithium brines.

According to Lake managing director Steve Promnitz, this extraction method can deliver scalable projects to market faster to supply rapidly increasing demand.

Support for fast-tracked development

Lake chairman Stu Crow added that the decision to fast-track these assets into production can be attributed to the company’s ongoing talks with battery metals customers and its ambition to become an integrated and valuable part of the global supply chain.

He said the company’s justification to fast-track the expansion and integration of these assets is the same as Lake’s reasoning to expand its Kachi project.

These reasons include: the increasing demand by prospective offtake partners for a secure supply chain of environmentally-friendly high purity lithium carbonate; the indicative support to fund new projects by export credit agencies and the international bank panel; supportive investment policies of the Argentine government; and the confidence of Lake’s technology partner Lilac Solutions that its modular direct lithium extraction technology is “scalable” and “cost-effective”.

“This, combined with increasing customer and consumer scrutiny around the environmental credentials of lithium production, and concerns about security supply has given us the confidence to fast-track these developments,” Mr Crow said.

A separate exploration and testing team will focus on the rapid development of Lake’s three other brine projects in Argentina using the comprehensive data set developed during the Kachi project’s direct extraction processing test work.

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