Brazilian lithium resource looms for Latin resources


With Australia – and more specifically Western Australia – at the top of the food chain when it comes to global lithium production, Perth-based mining explorer Latin Resources has turned its sights to Brazil in its in-demand drum metal hunting. The company’s flagship Salinas lithium project is located in the mineral-rich Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, where 29% of the world’s total iron ore production is attributed.

In addition to the state endowment of iron, gold, zinc, phosphate and niobium, Minas Gerais is rapidly developing into a premier spodumene district. Just 75 km south of Salinas is Toronto Stock Exchange-listed $5 billion Sigma Lithium, which holds a world-class resource of 85.7 million tonnes at 1.43% oxide of lithium. Sigma’s project to the south is said to have an after-tax net present value of US$5.1 billion and is touted by some as one of the top five lithium mining operations in the world.

The drill rigs arrived at the Salinas de Latin project earlier this year in February, seeking to follow surface samples grading up to 2.71% lithium oxide taken from outcropping spodumene-bearing pegmatites originally mapped on a length of 1.2 km. Buoyed by a first drill shot of 1m at 3.22% lithium oxide, the company launched a resource drilling campaign in June. The resource drilling produced an exceptional strike of 4.17m with 5.79% lithium oxide and raised anticipation for the upcoming resource estimate.

The team has now completed all required drilling on the Colina prospect for our first mineral resource estimate, which remains on track for December.

Perth-based Latin plans to provide a preliminary economic assessment of producing a lithium concentrate from its field by March next year. It plans to incorporate the results of the preliminary assessment into a definitive feasibility study which could be concluded by December 2023.

A commissioned broker’s report suggests that the Salinas de Latin project is on the heels of the $5 billion capped Sigma, which is expected to be 2-3 years ahead in terms of project development. Notably, as construction of Sigma’s proposed lithium plant continues, the company’s stock price has risen 193%, from a value of C$17.35 in July to an all-time high. of CA$50.98 reached today. An impressive increase, especially since the company has a market capitalization of several billion.

According to recent figures, the benchmark price of lithium has jumped more than 200% in the past year and demand for the material is on track to double again by 2024 – tantalizing numbers for Latin given that its metal battery operations in Brazil seem to be accelerating. .

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