Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) has doubled down on its production base scenario proposed in its Definitive Feasibility Study for the Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.
The company has confirmed that the Definitive Feasibility Study will assess production of 50,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent from Kachi, up from the originally planned lithium carbonate equivalent of 25,000 tpa.
This expanded production scenario is supported by an expected increase in the resource estimate from ongoing drilling.
The growing demand from potential purchasing partners, who are looking for a transparent and environmentally friendly product, is also behind the decision to increase the production offered.
“Given growing demand and the significant supply shortfall, Lake is focused on delivering high-purity lithium carbonate at scale with significant environmental, social and governance (ESG) benefits,” said Lake’s general manager, Steve Promnitz.
Mr. Promnitz added that the company had received indicative financial support for an increase in the size of the Kachi project from export credit agencies (ECAs) in the UK and Canada, as well as support of “many banks supported by the ECA”.
Lilac lithium extraction technology
In addition to financial support and levies, Lake confirmed that its technology partner Lilac Solutions’ direct lithium mining process is scalable and cost-effective.
Unlike conventional lithium brine production, Lake plans to use Lilac’s direct lithium extraction method, which requires no evaporation, uses less water and has a smaller environmental footprint.
Lilac acquires a 25% stake in Kachi and brings its technology, its engineering teams and a demonstration plant on site.
The direct lithium extraction process is less expensive and offers higher lithium recovery rates than traditional methods.
“The process is modular producing high purity lithium and can be rapidly accelerated from pilot to commercial stages – this equity investment ensures rapid commercialization of the Lilac technology at the Kachi site,” Promnitz said.
“Using Lilac technology, we can efficiently supply the large volumes of high-quality lithium chemicals needed by battery manufacturers.”
“Above all, it will be done in an environmentally friendly way,” he added.
To support the proposed production, Lake has expanded its drilling at Kachi and its other nearby lithium brine projects – Olaroz, Cauchari and Paso.
Kachi has a current resource of 4.4 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent.
A 10-hole, 4,000m program is scheduled to kick off in Olaroz, Cauchari and Paso this month.