Lake Resources reports promising lithium grades at Kachi, targets 2027 production start

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Lake Resources ASX LKE Kachi Catamarca Argentina lithium mining

Drilling at Lake Resources’ (ASX: LKE) Kachi project in Argentina continues to intercept lithium-bearing brine-in-sand units favourable to extraction over thick intervals in the southern portion of the central resource area.

The final drill hole associated with the company’s 2023 drilling program was completed in December and is located south of the surface expression of the salar.

It is believed to be the third hole in the campaign to demonstrate the presence of lithium-bearing brine to a depth of more than 600 metres.

Early results have returned grades of up to 302 milligrams per litre lithium over 407m with an average of 257mg/L.

They support hydrogeological modelling results which formed the basis of the project’s ore reserve and definitive feasibility study (DFS) submitted in December.

The DFS highlighted a total resource at Kachi of 10.6 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, with a Phase One production of 25,000 tonnes per annum over a 25-year life of mine to meet the growing demand from the global battery market.

Higher-grade brines

Lake’s director of geology and hydrogeology Michael Gabora said the latest results prove the continuity of higher-grade lithium brines south of the Phase One extraction well-field design, across a northwest-to-southeast trending fault which has been interpreted to create an escarpment south of the field.

“[They] demonstrate the vertical continuity of the lithium-bearing brine to more than 600m in clean, fine and medium-grained sands conducive to high productive extraction wells,” he said.

“With an average of 257mg/L through the production zones, this last drillhole continues the trend of intercepting lithium grades which are significantly higher than the 205mg/L design basis of the DFS.”

Battery-grade lithium

The Kachi project is focused on the production of consistent battery-grade (>99.5% purity) lithium carbonate at the site without the need for further refining or processing.

Lake is targeting first lithium in 2027 with a ramp-up to full capacity by the end of 2028.

This timeline is forecast to coincide with the start of a prolonged period of global structural deficit for battery-grade lithium chemicals.