AIM and TSX-V-listed Bacanora
Minerals Ltd has reported 337% increase in the
indicated mineral resource estimate for its Sonora lithium
project in Mexico to 5m tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent
(LCE) – 364m tonnes clay at 2,600 ppm – up
from previous levels of 1.14m tonnes – 95m tonnes clay
at 2,200 ppm.
The site’s inferred mineral
resource is now estimated to be 3.9m tonnes LCE – 355m
tonnes clay at 2,000 ppm – down from 6.3m tonnes LCE
– 500m tonnes clay at 2,300 ppm – previously
reported, as much of the previous inferred resource was
upgraded to the indicated level.
The company said that the new indicated
resource would be used for detailed life of mine planning, with
an initial focus on the site’s higher grade
deposits at the La Ventana and Fleur concessions.
This updated estimate will form part of an
ongoing preliminary feasibility study (PFS), which Bacanora
said is on schedule for completion in Q1 2016
Fellow TSX-V-listed Pure Energy
Minerals Ltd – which like Bacanora also has a
provisional supply deal with electric vehicle (EV) producer
Tesla Motors Inc. – said it is moving
to the next phase of process test work with Bateman
Advanced Technologies Ltd (BAT) as part of efforts to
complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Clayton
Valley site in Nevada in 2016.
Pure Energy said it would begin trial
processing runs in early 2016 at BAT’s mini pilot
plant in Katzrin, Israel, designed to recover high-purity,
battery-grade lithium products from brine sourced from Clayton
BAT’s proprietary technology
aims to recover lithium from brines and chemical waste streams
using a tested process with a small environmental
TSX-V-listed Western Lithium USA
Corp. released an organisation and integration update
on its operations following its merger with Lithium
Americas Corp. in September this year.
The company said it would restructure
senior management in order to accelerate the development of its
Argentinian and US lithium resources and announced that
Geologic Resource Partners LLC has signed a
letter of intent to lead a small group of investors to provide
the company with a $5m line of credit.
Western Lithium also said that it would
introduce re-branding initiatives in early 2016 which will
change its corporate name in order to "more appropriately
reflect the scope and future of its new asset and business
Durango Resources Inc. is
set to become the latest in a line of companies purchasing
Nevada lithium claims.
The explorer has agreed to terms in a
right of first refusal (ROFR) with an arm's length vendor for
the 2,460 acre (9.96km2) East Fault lithium claims
lithium in South Clayton Valley Nevada, US.
Durango has 30 days to complete due
diligence on the claims before entering into a definitive
agreement, following which it will issue 1m shares to the
vendor, sign a 3% net smelter royalty (with the option of a 1%
buyback for $1m within three years) and pay $29,000 in claim
Durango currently holds the NMX East lithium project in Quebec,
Canada, as well as a number of limestone, gold and nickel
claims in the US and Canada.
Another TSX-V-listed junior,
Noka Resources Inc., is also seeking to join
the Nevada lithium race, with the announcement of
an agreement with arms-length vendors to acquire the 1,920 acre
(7.77km2) Columbus lithium project in the Big Smokey
Valley, Esmeralda County.
To gain a 100% interest in the
project, Noka must issue 1.9m common shares to each of the
vendors, for a total of 3.2m common shares, make cash payments
of Canadian dollar (C$) 450,000 ($336,376*) over the next three
years and spend at least C$1m on exploration at the site within
Noka holds a number of uranium interests
in the in the Athabasca Basin region of northern Saskatchewan,
In China, Jinanxi Ganfeng Lithium
Co. Ltd has signed an agreement to proceed with the
construction of a new lithium carbonate plant in Qingtang town,
Ningdu county, Jianxi province, in the south east of the
The facility will make use of spodumene
mined in the village of Heyuan and will source sulfuric acid
from Jiangxi Chaosheng Mining Co.
It is expected to have a capacity of
17,000 tpa, will cost Chinese renminbi (Rmb) 450m ($70.34m) and
will be brought into production in two years’
In battery news, the Government of
Ecuador has requested a supply of lithium-ion (Li-ion)
batteries from Bolivia, for use in a public transport EVs,
according to a report by the Latin American Herald
Ecuador’s minister for
knowledge and human talent, Andres Arauz, made the request
during a meeting with the Bolivian vice president, Alvaro
Garcia Linera, in a meeting this week.
The initiative would include the
construction of a lithium carbonate production plant as well as
a Li-ion battery factory.
Bolivia hosts the world’s
largest identified lithium reserves, at 9m tonnes, according to
the US Geological Survey. However, there is currently no
commercial-scale production in the country.
Nemaska Lithium Inc. has
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Johnson
Matthey Battery Materials Ltd (JMBM) – a
subsidiary of London-listed Johnson Matthey
Plc – for the sale of C$12m of product from
its phase one and subsequent commercial hydrometallurgy plant
to be built in Shawinigan, Quebec.
The funds will be used to finance
construction of the phase one plant to begin processing
spodumene concentrate from Nemaska’s Whabouchi
property in the Lac des Montagnes region of Quebec.
The agreement also provides for the
potential long term provision of lithium salts by Nemaska to
JMBM for use in the latter’s battery material
Nemaska’s CEO, Guy Bourassa,
described the deal as a "non-dilutive approach [to the] project
financing of the Phase 1 Plant," which he said the company
"will be ready to start building as soon as the financing is
closed which we expect by February 2016".
*Conversions made November