IM Lithium News in Brief 10 – 16 February

By Myles McCormick
Published: Tuesday, 16 February 2016

FAA warns carriers of risks of Li-ion batteries in cargo holds; Altura publishes Pilangoora PFS.

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has issued a safety alert to airlines, urging them to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage dangers associated with the transport of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

The warning, or safety alert for operators (SAFO), reiterated advice previously issue by aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus and called on airlines that had already completed assessments to re-evaluate these in light of further evidence gained through recent battery tests.

The SAFO covers Li-ion batteries carried in bulk as cargo on passenger and commercial aircraft, but not those contained within personal equipment.

ASX-listed Altura Mining Ltd has released prefeasibility study (PFS) results for its Pilangoora lithium project in Western Australia (WA).

The report indicated that a base case of a 1m tpa ore process rate would yield a life of mine revenue of Australian dollar (A$) 1.35bn ($665m*) , a life of mine cash flow of A$609m, a net present value (NPV) of A$277m and internal rate of return (IRR) of 42.5% (at an 8% discount rate).

Total predicted ore feed is 18.92m tonnes, which would allow production of 2.886m tonnes spodumene concentrate.

The PFS also increased the resource estimate for Pilangoora by 37% to 35.7m tonnes, using a breakeven cut-off grade of 0.4% Li2O.

Mithrill Resources Ltd, another ASX-listed junior, has identified a number of occurrences of outcropping pegamite considered prospective for lithium at its Leaky Bore project in Australia’s Northern Territory.

This brings to six the pegamite occurrences identified at Leaky Bore, on which Mithrill intends to conduct geochemical sampling and geological mapping in the coming months.

The site is also prospective for both copper and nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Lithium Australia NL said that maiden results from recently completed fieldwork confirmed the presence of seven lithium pegamites at its Ravensthope project in Western Australia (WA).

Assay results from 19 samples of lithium mineralisation from the core lithium zones of the pegamites ranged from 1.26% Li2O to 4.23% Li2O, with a mean of 2.96% Li2O.

The company said that the findings indicate that the grade and scale of mineralisation is of economic significance and warrants closer investigation.

ASX-listed Exterra Resources Ltd has acquired an option to purchase a 90% stake in the Moolyella project in the Archean Pilbara Craton, WA.

Exterra will pay a A$5,000 fee for a six-month option period and issue 5m shares to the unnamed vendor to exercise the option.

Moolyella consists of one exploration license application covering 86km2. Exterra said that rock chip values of up to 1.82% Li2O had been recorded within the tenement area from limited reconnaissance work.

In Canada, ASX-listed Ardiden Ltd has entered an option agreement to acquire the Root Lake spodumene project in Ontario from AIM-listed Landore Resources Ltd.

Ardiden will pay Landore a Canadian dollar (C$) 50,000 ($24,956) holding deposit upfront, plus two payments of C$150,000 in equity and cash if they proceed with the deal after a 150 day due diligence period.

Root Lake holds two pegamite outcroppings – the Root Lake pegamite and the McCoombe pegamite. The McCoombe deposit has been reported to contain 2.3m tonnes at 1.3% Li2O, although the resource is neither NI 43-101 nor JORC compliant.

Separately, Ardiden expects drill approvals for its Seymour Lake project, which it purchased last month and is also situated in Ontario, within the next two weeks, with drilling due to begin shortly after.

TSX-V-listed Critical Elements Corp. has entered into a binding agreement with Lepidco Ltd for the sale of up to 75% of the Lemare lithium project, a 158 claim site, spread over 7,433 ha (74 km2) in Quebec, Canada.

Critical will earn C$15,000 in cash on signing, followed by C$70,000 in cash and C$500,000 in either shares or cash upon exercise of a right to farm-in following a due diligence process.

In return, Lepidco will gain a 50% interest in the site, provided it spends C$2m on exploration licenses and delivers a JORC resource for Lemare resource by the end of 2017, to increase to a 75% interest provided it completes a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and environmental study by mid-2020 and pays Critical a further C$2.5m.

Finally, AIM-listed European Metals Holdings Ltd (EMH) has completed a detailed geological model for its Cinovec lithium deposit in the Czech Republic, which identified a series of shallow, higher grade lithium zones.

The model, which showed higher grade mineralisation to be hosted preferentially in greisen rocks, will now be used, along with recent drill results, to update the site’s current mineral resource model and allow EMH to investigate targeting the newly identified areas.

Cinovec currently has an inferred resource of 514.8m tonnes at 0.43% Li2O.

*Conversions made February 2016