Chilean president Michelle Bachelet has
called upon South American states to work together towards the
development of their respective lithium industries, according
to Chilean news outlet, Diario Financiero de
"Our three countries have the largest
reserves in the world," she said, referring to Chile, Argentina
and Bolivia. "There is a potential there to drive the theme of
renewable energy," she added.
Bolivian president, Evo Morales, who
previously described Bolivian lithium as the "hope of
humanity", responded by stating that when his country reaches
ful production, "[it will] decide the price of lithium for the
whole world", because it holds the largest reserves.
Bolivia currently has no commercial
lithium production. Estimates of its reserves of the mineral
vary from the 9m tonnes outlined by the US Geological Survey
(USGS) to the 100m tonnes claimed by the Bolivian
Elsewhere in South America, US-based
Li3 Energy Inc. has executed a non-binding
letter of intent with TSX-V-listed Wealth Minerals
Ltd to support exploration at Li3’s
Maricunga lithium project in northern Chile.
Wealth will provide Canadian dollar (C$)
3m ($2.14m*) in equity financing, establishing a new company to
be owned on a 50:50 basis by Wealth and Li3.
The financing will be used to advance work
at Maricunga and pursue other corporate initiatives, Li3
In North America, TSX-V listed
Nemaska Lithium Inc. has signed a final
contract for a grant of around C$13m from Sustainable
Development Technology Canada for the construction and
operation of its phase one lithium hyromet plant in Shawinigan,
The plant will have the capacity to
produce 500 tpa high purity lithium hydroxide. Construction is
expected to begin this quarter and be completed by the end of
Nevada Sunrise Gold
Corp., also TSX-V-listed, has signed a letter of
agreement on an option to purchase water rights in the Clayton
The permit allows for the use of 1,770
acre/feet of water use for mining and milling per year.
TSX-V-listed Ashburton Ventures
Inc. has acquired the Area 51 lithium brine prospect
in Nye County, Nevada, from an arm's length vendor.
The property consists of 85 federal placer
claims over an area of 1,700 acres (6.88km2)
In exchange for the site, Ashburton will
issue 200,000 shares and pay $20,000 a year after the deal is
closed. It will also grant the vendor a 0.5% net smelter return
(NSR), half of which can be repurchased at a cost of
In Australia, Lithium Australia
NL and Pilbara Minerals, both
ASX-listed companies, have extended by a year an agreement to
evaluate the commercial potential of mica deposits in
Pilbara’s Pilangoora project in Western Australia
The extension of the deal until the end of
2016 follows the identification of new targets on the site, in
an area labelled the Triple Creek Zone, over the past year.
Separately, Lithium Australia said it had
submitted a programme of works for approval by the
Western Australian Department of Mines and
Petroleum relating to work at is Lepidolite Hill
The company said that approval of the
submission would be a precursor to recovering around 1,500
tonnes lepidolite for further metallurgical testing.
ASX-listed Peninsula Mines
Ltd has filed seven tenement applications in South
Korea through its subsidiary, Suyeon Mining Co.
The applications cover two blocks adjacent
to the existing Boam lithium mine and five separate blocks over
areas of pegmatite, which it said are considered prospective
for lithium and tin mineralisation
"South Korea is a significant lithium
importer and consumer and the acquisition of projects
prospective for lithium complements the company’s
recent move into graphite exploration," said Martin Pyle,
executive director at Peninsula.
ASX-listed Mining Projects Group
Ltd has indicated it will buy the Lynas Find Assets, a
lithium and gold project based in the Pilbara region of WA. It
will rename the site the Pilbara lithium-gold project.
The nickel-focused miner will purchase the
site from Tyranna Resources Ltd and
Tribal Mining Corp. Inc. for a package
including a cash sum of Australian dollar (A$) 200,000
($141,000), 300m shares, and 100m unlisted options.
The Lynas Find site borders both Pilbara
Minerals and Altura Mining Ltd’s
projects in the region.
Zenith Minerals Ltd has
reported grades of up to 4.05% lithium oxide (Li2O)
at its Mount Alexander project in WA.
It recorded seven rock chip samples with
assays ranging from 3.38% to 4.05% Li2O from a
lepidolite-bearing pegamite dyke, it said.
Surface mapping and sampling at the site
are now planned, alongside an assessment of existing drill
ASX-listed Metalicity Ltd
has lodged four exploration licence applications in WA,
covering an area of 914 km2 across three separate
The company said that each of the areas
– Lake Cowan, Greenbushes East and Pilangoora East
– are spodumene-bearing and are considered prospective
for lithium, tantalum and tin mineralisation.
Metalicity managing director, Matt Gauci
said that the company had identified the tenements making use
of a "rapidly developed an in-house exploration targeting model
focussed on lithium mineralisation", adding that permits for
these locations would "add to the existing highly prospective
Pilgangoora South project" currently held by the company.
Finally, in battery news, Japanese
automobile manufacturer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd
will lead a £19.4m ($27.7m) project in the UK to develop
next generation lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric
cars, The Engineer has reported.
The project has received funding from the
UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre
and is aiming to develop new chemistry and manufacturing
processes for Li-ion batteries.
The research will be based at
Nissan’s battery plant in Sunderland in the north
of England and will involve a number of industry and academic
*Conversions made February