UK AIM-listed Bacanora Minerals
Ltd and Rare Earth Minerals Plc have
completed nine holes of a planned 18-hole drilling programme at
their joint venture (JV) Sonora lithium project in Mexico.
Following the announcement last week of a
lithium hydroxide supply
deal with Tesla Motors Plc, a second rig
has been mobilised at the site to increase the speed of
drilling, with the intention to complete the remaining holes
The programme is designed to increase
Sonora’s indicated mineral resource, which
currently stands at 1.14m tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent
(LCE) within 95m tonnes clay, at a grade of 2,200 parts per
million (ppm), while inferred resource is 6.3m tonnes LCE in
95m tonnes clay, at a grade of 2,300ppm.
Shareholders of TSX-V-listed
Lithium Americas Corp. and Western
Lithium USA Corp. have approved merger proposals
between the two firms, at separate special meetings, strongly
supporting the advice of their boards.
The companies voted by margins of 99.91%
and 98.25%, respectively, to proceed with the deal, which will
see Lithium Americas shareholders receive 0.789 of a Western
Lithium share for each share currently held.
Separately, Lithium Americas announced the
execution of a heads of agreement with South Korean technology
firm, POSCO, for the commercialisation of its
Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Jujuy Province,
The non-binding agreement provides the
companies with a framework to establish a JV company,
details of which they will negotiate after completion of due
diligence during Q4 2015. A memorandum of understanding (MoU)
to this effect was signed in January 2015.
The agreement comes on the back of an
extension by the two companies of a cooperation agreement to
September 2015 which in turn followed the successful operation
of POSCO’s lithium extraction demonstration plant
at the Cauchari-Olaroz site.
Fellow ASX-listed Lithium
Australia NL – formerly Cobre Montana NL
– released a presentation outlining its method of
processing lithium micas, which it calls the "forgotten ore" of
The company believes that the complex
process will allow it to take advantage of the abundance of the
resource with no mining cost – as feedstock can be
taken as a waste product – and with a zero-energy
The company also announced positive survey
results for the recently expanded
tenement area at the Seabrook rare metals venture, in which it
owns an 80% stake, the remainder being held by Tungsten
Surface mapping and geochemistry work at
the site have identified lithium pegamites up to 300m in
length, falling within a zone in which soil chemistry indicates
ASX-listed Neometals Ltd
and Mineral Resources Ltd announced that the
Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved
a planned investment by China-based Ganfeng Lithium Co.
Ltd in their JV subsidiary Reed Industrial
Minerals Pty Ltd announced in a July MoU.
The deal will give Ganfeng a 25% stake in
Reed, and also provides for it to purchase 100% of the offtake
from Reed’s Mt Marion spodumene mine.
Altura Mining Ltd,
another ASX-listed firm, has said that it has completed the
comminution phase of its feasibility study metallurgical test
work programme at its flagship Pilangoora lithium project. This
has provided it with necessary material for beneficiation phase
metallurgical testing which it intends to complete by the end
The full metallurgical test work report
will then be used to complete the design of a crushing,
screening and beneficiation plant at Pilgangoora, a spodumene
site 100% owned by Altura. The project has a current JORC
mineral resource estimate of 25.2m tonnes at a grade of 1.23%
lithium oxide (Li2O).
TSX-V-listed Ashburton Ventures
Inc. announced another further expansion of its sites
in British Columbia, Canada, this time in the form of the
acquisition of the 18 unit, 904 acre (3.66km2)
Boulder property. This latest purchase brings the
company’s total holding to 1,457 acres
The Boulder site borders the GC West
property attained by Ashburton last week and
encompasses its GC lepidotite minfile showing, which comprises
a coarse-grained, lepidolite-bearing, pegamite dike within a
Michael England, president of Ashburton,
said that the combined new acquisitions give the company an
"exciting target to exploit". He expects work on the site to
commence in the immediate future.
Moving to downstream news, Japanese
electronics producer, Panasonic Corp.,
announced its intention to cease production of lithium-ion
(Li-ion) batteries at its Beijing factory later this month,
according to reports by Reuters.
The move comes as part of an effort by the
battery producer to focus on higher-margin products such as
electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The 15-year old factory produces batteries
for standard mobile phones and digital cameras, both of which
are losing out in popularity to smartphones. Finnish mobile
phone producer Nokia was among its customers in its early
Finally, German multinational engineering
and electronics firm, Bosch GmbH will acquire
Silicon Valley advanced battery start-up Seeo
Inc, according to reports by news website
Seeo is working to create high-energy
rechargeable Li-ion batteries based on a nanostructured polymer
electrolyte. It has 30 issued, exclusively licensed and pending
patent applications. The move indicates part of
Bosch’s plans to move into the EV market.
According to Quartz, Bosch have
said that the financial specifications of the deal will not be