UK AIM and TSX-V-listed listed Bacanora Minerals
Ltd has released its interim update for the six months
ending 31 December 2016, outlining progress the company has
made in developing the Sonora lithium project
The company delivered a 337% increase in the indicated
portion of its mineral resource estimate for Sonora to 5m
tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) during the period and
completed a private placement financing of approximately
Canadian dollar (C$) 17.8m ($13.18m*) to fund engineering work,
a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and metallurgical
Bacanora is planning to build a 35,000 tpa LCE production
plant at Sonora and said it expects the mining project to be
completed in the near term.
Rare Earth Minerals Plc (REM), the
AIM-listed holding company for Bacanora, has raised gross
proceeds of approximately £3.55m ($4.96m) through the
placing of 645.6m new ordinary shares at a price of
£0.55/share to fund further strategic acquisitions in the
The strategy includes increasing REM’s economic
interest in its existing investments as an initial focus, as
well as pursuing additional deals with new companies. The funds
were raised primarily from US institutional investors.
Galaxy Resources Ltd and General
Mining Corp. have begun diamond drilling at the Mount
Cattlin lithium-tantalum deposit near Ravensthorpe in Western
The current drilling programme is designed to follow up on
intersections of spodumene-bearing pegmatite encountered during
an earlier drilling campaign, conducted by Galaxy in 2008, to
test for potential gold and gold-copper mineralisation in the
Drilling is proceeding on a double shift basis and is
intended to reach a depth of 600 metres. The programme will
also determine optimal depths for future infill extensional
drilling of the main lithium-tantalum resource.
A second, hole of similar depth is planned for the northeast
of the present drilling location.
ASX-listed Altura Mining Ltd has entered a
non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese
lithium battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer,
Optimum Nano Battery Co. Ltd, to supply
100,000-150,000 tpa spodumene concentrate from
Altura’s Pilgangoora lithium project in WA.
The MoU provides for the supply deal to last for the life of
the Pilgangoora mine, which is currently pegged at 20 years. Prices
for the first 150,000 tonnes will be based on the prevailing
market value for spodumene and subsequent prices will be based
on published sales values or negotiated between the
The exploration company recently entered a partnership with
Lionergy Ltd, another China-based company with
an interest in producing lithium-iron-phosphate
(LiFePO4/LFP) compounds for batteries, which it said
will help it secure further mine-to-market deals.
Fellow ASX-listed Peninsula Mines Ltd has
expanded its portfolio of lithium projects in South Korea,
filing for 53 tenement applications over an area considered
highly prospective for pegmatite associated lithium
A review of historic stream sediment sampling data collected
by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources has
highlighted an area to the south of the Sangdong tungsten mine
in Gangwon province in the north of the country, where an
aerially extensive lithium anomaly is centred and where
Peninsula intends to explore.
Maximus Resources Ltd, another
Australia-listed company, is reviewing lithium occurrence
identified in its Spargoville gold tenements in WA.
According to Maximus, Spargoville is located close to
Neometals Ltd’s Mount Marion
lithium project and Lithium Australia
Ltd’s Lepidiolite Hill lithium
The company added that further exploration is required to
confirm whether its Lefroy prospect and other mapped pegmatites
are similar to those found at Mount Marion.
In WA’s Pilbara region, Mining Projects
Group Ltd has received its first results from an
airborne electromagnetic survey of the Pilbara lithium-golf
project, which it acquired from Tyranna Resources
Ltd last month.
The company said that the 1,410 line kilometre survey had
identified high priority potassium-rich targets. Mining
Projects Group now plans to conduct a detailed assessment of
the data before proceeding with further exploration.
In North America, Canada-based MGX Minerals
Inc. has engaged Cementation AG for the process and
pilot plant engineering of a 20,000 barrel per day (bpd)
lithium, potassium and magnesium extraction plant.
The plant is projected to produce up to 500 tpa lithium
carbonate and provide sufficient data for development of a
large scale commercial facility. Engineering work has commenced
on an initial scoping study for the pilot plant and completion
is expected within four weeks.
MGX has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a 100%
undivided interest in 12 metallic and industrial mineral
permits and permit applications where lithium, potassium and
magnesium-rich brines have been identified, encompassing 96,000
ha (960km2) throughout the province of Alberta,
Veraz Petroleum Ltd has advanced its
agreement to identify lithium brine exploration targets along
the central and southern Walker Lane trend in southwest Nevada,
The portfolio consists of 550 placer mineral claims
distributed from the Mina-Luning area, west of Tonopah, to the
lowest basin in the Armagosa drainage system in the Parhump
Veraz has also commenced fieldwork at its 196-claim
Scotty’s Flat property in the same area. This
phase of technical work will include preparation of geological
reports for each of the nine property areas, specific programme
planning for each area and advancement of one selected area,
the Scotty's Flat targets, for completion of an NI 43-101
TSX-V-listed Nevada Sunrise Gold Corp. has
received preliminary results from a time-domain electromagnetic
survey (TDEM) carried out on the Gemini lithium project in Lida
A survey found that a conductive layer, 150-250 metres deep,
appears to cover most of the Gemini West and Gemini East areas
of the project and several isolated strong conductive zones
were interpreted at depths from 400-600 metres. The conductive
layers and zones are indicative of brine solutions in porous
aquifers and traps.
The Gemini project is currently the subject of an interim
agreement between the Nevada Sunrise and Eureka
Resources Inc., whereby Eureka can earn a 50% working
interest in a joint venture at Gemini.
Ashburton Ventures Inc. has increased its
landholdings for lithium exploration in Clayton Valley, Nevada,
by acquiring six new claims contiguous to the Elon claims it
already owns, from an non-arm’s-length vendor in
return for 300m shares to be issued on the TSX-V.
The new parcels of land border claims belonging to
Pure Energy Minerals Ltd and Lithium-X
New research by Bloomberg New Energy
Finance has suggested that further, big
reductions in battery prices lie ahead, and that during the
2020s EVs will become a more economic option than gasoline or
diesel cars in most countries.
The study forecasts that sales of EVs will hit 41m by 2040,
representing 35% of new light duty vehicle sales. This would be
almost 90 times the equivalent figure for 2015, when EV sales
are estimated to have been 462,000, some 60% up on 2014.
The research estimates that the growth of EVs will mean they
represent a quarter of the cars on the road by that date,
displacing 13m bpd of crude oil but using 1,900TWh of
electricity. This would be equivalent to nearly 8% of global
electricity demand in 2015.
Colin McKerracher, lead advanced transportation analyst at
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: "Lithium-ion
(Li-ion) battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010,
reaching $350 per kWh last year. We expect EV battery costs to
be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after
that as new chemistries come in."
Finally, the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) has issued additional
clarifications on new Li-ion battery cargo restrictions on
The UN agency has said that Li-ion batteries carried by
passengers in their personal electronic devices, whether in
their carry-on or checked baggage, are not affected by this new
Passengers must not pack spare Li-ion batteries in checked
baggage. Spares must instead be packed in carry-on baggage or
carried on the person. For baggage shipped by air as cargo,
ICAO added that Li-ion batteries may no longer be packed in
baggage shipped independently as cargo.
The restrictions were implemented in response to a number of
fire hazards on aircraft, believed to be caused by Li-ion
*Conversions made March 2016