Integrated lithium explorer Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has completed a preliminary field exploration program at its Medcalf tenement, within its Lake Johnston project, where previous rock chip sampling returned up to 7.15% lithium.
Located in Western Australia, the project is close to major lithium projects in the region including Kidman Resources’ (ASX: KDR) Earl Grey, NeoMetals’ (ASX: NMT) and Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) Mt Marion, and Galaxy Resources’ (ASX: GXY) Mt Cattlin.
During January, Lithium Australia carried out field mapping, further rock chip and geochemical soil sampling across the pegmatite swarms identified at Medcalf in 2018.
Results from the program are expected next month, with previous rock chips assaying between 3.07% and 4.78% lithium, as well as the spodumene specimen that graded 7.15% lithium.
The tenement is within the south-east area of Lithium Australia’s Lake Johnston project in the Yilgarn Craton.
VSPC creates lithium-ion batteries from waste
Today’s news follows a busy December quarter which saw Lithium Australia report a world first by developing a lithium-ion battery from mine waste using its proprietary SiLeach process.
Lithium Australia’s wholly-owned subsidiary VSPC used the SiLeach process to produce tri-lithium phosphate from lithium mica material, which is traditionally deemed waste.
During the process, the tri-lithium phosphate was converted to a lithium-iron-phosphate cathode material at VSPC’s lab.
The lithium-iron-phosphate was then used in manufacturing coin cell lithium-ion batteries, which achieved equivalent performance to VSPC’s batteries made from traditional cathode materials.
“The most notable aspect of this achievement is its simplicity, and ability to streamline the processes and cost required to produce lithium-ion battery cathode materials,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said of the accomplishment.
In addition to Medcalf, Lithium Australia is firming up several potential feed sources for its proprietary technology and cemented its ownership of the Youanmi lepidolite project in December where sampling unveiled up to 4.2% lithium.
The company has also shored up its exposure to the advanced European battery and electric vehicle markets with the acquisition of the Sadisdorf lithium-tin-tungsten project in Germany.
Sadisdorf has an initial resource of 25 million tonnes at 0.45% lithium, which Lithium Australia hopes to “significantly expand” through further exploration.
According to Mr Griffin, the company’s proprietary processes could be commercially competitive to those currently used by hard rock spodumene producers.
In mid-morning trade, Lithium Australia’s share price was up 1.15% to $0.088.