Lithium Australia notches up exploration milestones in WA

Lithium Australia Western ASX LIT Lake Johnston Medcalf
As Lithium Australia advances its battery recycling technologies, the company continues progressing its exploration projects.

Gold, base metals and platinum group elements (PGE) have joined Lithium Australia’s (ASX: LIT) project portfolio as it streamlines land holdings at minimal cost.

The company has entered into agreements with Okapi Resources (ASX: OKR), Metal Hawk (which is planning an ASX listing this year), Australian Vanadium (ASX: AVL) and privately-owned Mercator Metals.

Lithium Australia has already established itself as a standalone vertically integrated player in the lithium space that incorporates several stages: explorer, patented processing methodologies, accessing waste materials, and recycling spent batteries.

Now the company is moving on to a broader commodities front.

Lithium Australia said the agreements with the other companies provide it exposure to gold and base metals at little cost to itself as well as preserving 100% lithium potential of the projects concerned.

Testing for lithium and gold targets

Lithium and gold targets are to be tested at the Lake Johnston and Medcalf projects in partnership with Okapi Resources.

The projects are located 470km east of Perth and previously Lithium Australia has undertaken reconnaissance geological mapping and geochemical sampling there, resulting in the discovery of a spodumene pegmatite cluster near Lake Medcalf.

In a separate agreement with Australian Vanadium and Mercator, Lithium Australia is evaluating an intrusive complex 29km south-east of the Julimar nickel-copper-PGE discovery by Chalice Gold Mines (ASX: CHN).

Australian Vanadium, after a detailed review of drilling done in the 1970s on the ground, provided a structural interpretation of the complex, finding it prospective for the same metals as found at Julimar.

At the Emu Lake project 75km northeast of Kalgoorlie, Lithium Australia has now partly divested the project to Metal Hawk, although Lithium Australia is retaining the lithium rights without paying tenement holding costs and spending commitments.

Metal Hawk considers the tenement to be prospective for nickel and gold.

Exploration for lithium near Greenbushes flagged

Lithium Australia noted it has “significant” exploration ground holdings close to Tianqi Lithium and Albemarle’s Greenbushes mine – the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine.

The company is now seeking expressions of interest to advance exploration of this ground.

It is looking for a partner to explore and develop the numerous pegmatites that have already been identified on the tenements.

Meanwhile, Lithium Australia and Focus Minerals have agreed to terminate a rare metals venture at the Lithium Australia’s Lepidolite Hill, 15km south of Coolgardie.

The project will be transferred to Lithium Australian ownership and the company will pay a royalty to Focus, calculated at 20% of the statutory royalties on production that would be due to the Western Australian government.

From spodumene to lithium-ion batteries

Lithium Australia’s battery materials processing technologies are designed to recover lithium from non-traditional primary ore and waste materials.

Its subsidiary Envirostream Australia recycles energy metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

Based in Victoria, Envirostream operates the only facility nationally to shred spent batteries and from them produce a mixed-metal dust (MMD) containing critical battery materials including cobalt, nickel, lithium and manganese.

The MMD is currently exported to South Korea for refining.

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