IM Lithium News in Brief 9 – 15 December

By James Sean Dickson
Published: Tuesday, 15 December 2015

International Lithium announces $4m exploration budget with Gangfeng Lithium; Nevada Sunrise purchases Clayton NE property; Lithium Australia produces first lithium hydroxide sample.

Vancouver, Canada-based International Lithium Corp. has announced a preliminary budget of $4m with its development partner Gangfeng Lithium Co. Ltd for the exploration and development of its Mariana and Avalonia joint venture (JV) projects, based in Argentina and Ireland, respectively.

Of this total, $3.19m has been allocated to the Mariana project, with the remainder going to Avalonia. The company is preparing to commence fieldwork on both projects in January 2016.

For Mariana, the funds will be used to investigate a natural evaporation concentration process for the project’s brines. Bench testing of the brine will then be carried out, to be followed by onsite field testing.

Noting the recent change of government in Argentina to a more economically liberal-minded ruling party, Kirill Klip, International Lithium’s president, said: "The results of the recent elections have managed to give foreign corporations greater confidence in the future of business and mineral resource development in Argentina."

International Lithium also recived confirmation this week from the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources of Ireland.

All eight prospecting licences covering the Avalonia project were renewed after the department accepted the company’s work reports and its six-year review process. The licences are now valid until 6 August 2021.

The company hopes that the "stark contrast" in the physical properties of the rocks that make up the resource and its country rock should enable it to develop an accurate and efficient method of developing drill targets based on magnetometer surveys.

Also headquartered in Candada, British Columbia-based Nevada Sunrise Gold Corp. has announced the signing of a definitive agreement for an option to purchase the Clayton Northeast (Clayton NE) lithium property in Clayton Valley, Nevada.

The claims cover 2.76km2 and are contiguous to the Silver Peak lithium mine operated by Albemarle Corp., Nevada Sunrise said. The Silver Peak lithium production well is located 45 metres from the western boundary of the property, the company added.

A 1982 drill hole on the project encountered lithium values of 24-110 parts per million (ppm) lithium in the brine samples obtained at the time, for an average value of 69.3 ppm over 11 samples.

"Nevada Sunrise believes that drilling deeper holes at Clayton NE could intersect additional aquifers potentially hosting brines of similar or better contents of lithium than were encountered in the relatively shallow historical hole," the company said.

In Montreal, Quebec, Glen Eagle Resources Inc. has proposed a JV arrangement for its Authier lithium asset with the nearby Canada Lithium project.

"Glen Eagle has commissioned a detailed business plan from experienced operators, engineers and managers to support its proposal; which has been presented to potential European project offtakers, strategic funding partners and current parties involved in the liquidation of Canada Lithium including Investissement Quebec," the company said.

"The proposal also made clear to all participants that a restart of Canada Lithium operations in the area has a better chance to succeed with the contribution of Authier by bringing to the Canada Lithium project a more favourable strip ratio and a longer mine life," Glen Eagle added.

Meanwhile, Calgary, Alberta-headquartered Bacanora Minerals Ltd said that it "continues to develop" strategic relationships with international lithium trading and mining companies for the sale of its products.

"As part of this strategy, the company has already completed a number of detailed site and plant visits with potential offtake partners to facilitate and expedite lithium sample optimisation," Bacanora said.

Peter Secker, Bacanora’s CEO, said that the project "is now receiving a significant amount of interest from major trading houses in Asia and Europe" for the supply of lithium products.

Elsewhere, Cypress Development Corp. has acquired the 7.2km2 Alkali Valley lithium brine project located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, US.

The project area covers the central and northeast portions of the bottom of the Alkali Lake Playa, and is contiguous with Dajin Resources’ Alkali Lake lithium project.

Cypress said that, like Nevada Sunrise’s new project area, the Alkali Valley claims are located nearby to Albemarle’s Silver Peak production facility.

TSX-V-listed Alix Resources Corp. has commenced work on its Electra lithium project, which is located adjacent to Bacanora and Rare Earth Minerals Plc’s Sonora lithium project in Sonora, Mexico.

The 22.6km2 project area will see preliminary reconnaissance including geological mapping, prospecting and sampling. High priority areas will be targeted by the geologists.

"The company is pleased to now have boots on the ground on our Mexican concession and to commence exploration on the property. Our team is well experienced in the area and we look forward to announcing further news as they progress with the exploration programme," Mike England, Alix’s president, said.

ASX-listed Lithium Australia NL announced the creation of its first lithium hydroxide (LiOH) sample on 11 December.

"The hydroxide product results from the conversion of carbonate and in present markets commands a premium of around 25%," the company said. "The upgrade of product is a significant value-add process."

Perth-based European Metals Holdings Ltd, which is developing the Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic, has announced its admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) stock exchange in London.

Beaumont Cornish Ltd acted as the company’s broker and nomad for the listing, which Keith Coughlan, the company’s managing director, said would provide the company with greater flexibility and a wider investor base.

The company, which is also listed on the ASX, is now working on an infill drilling programme on the project. Core from the programme will be used in the metallurgical assessment of the property’s ore.