Youanmi is proving a boon for Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT), with latest drill results revealing up to 4.14% lithium and mineralisation remaining open in all directions.
Lithium Australia kicked-off its maiden drilling program at its Western Australian Youanmi project in June and has identified shallow mineralisation over 2,500m of strike.
In this latest assay batch, notable results were 6m at 1.61% lithium from 22m, including 1m at 4.14% lithium; 3m at 1.68% lithium from 32m; and 4m at 1.61% lithium from 21m.
These results are similar to those reported earlier this month which returned multiple mineralised intersections including 8m at 1.39% lithium from 8m, and 6m at 1.64% lithium from 11m.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the results at Youanmi were “most encouraging”.
“The lithium is hosted in lepidolite, a lithium mica ideally suited to processing via our proprietary SiLeach technology.”
“Initial results suggest Youanmi could provide critical feedstock for Lithium Australia’s lithium-cathode and battery business units,” he added.
Drilling to-date has also revealed mineralisation remains open down dip and along strike, with further exploration required to test the extent of the system.
The maiden drilling program comprised 3,000m and is expected to finish this month. The program also targeted vanadium mineralisation at the project with ore recovered from the program to be used in metallurgical testing.
Mr Griffin said the Youanmi province was largely under-explored for lithium and vanadium.
Lithium market fundamentals
Despite recent lithium glut fearmongering, the medium and longer-term lithium market fundamentals remain positive.
Mr Griffin pointed out that conventional lithium production won’t be able to keep up with demand by 2030 – with about 3.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent required annually by this time to power the 50 million electric vehicles expected to be on the world’s roads.
It is anticipated the lithium sector will be pressured even further by the growing energy storage and electronics markets which also require lithium.
To put this in perspective only 200,000tpa of lithium is currently produced, which is then further refined to generate lithium chemicals such as lithium carbonate equivalent.
Lithium Australia’s strategy is to fill this gap with its vertically integrated business that mines and processes lithium, as well as manufacturing and recycling spent batteries.
By early afternoon, Lithium Australia’s share price was trading at $0.052 – up 6.12%.