Recent drilling confirms the size and promise of the project, which the company is now confident contains lithium resources well beyond current estimates.
Lake Resources NL’s (ASX: LKE, OTCQB: LLKKF) drilling program at the Kachi Lithium project in Argentina continues to bolster the company’s optimism – derived from previous assay results – that lithium brines will extend well beyond the limits of the current resource.
The drilling supports the potential doubling of future production from the flagship project, targeting up to 50,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
LKE plans to expand its drilling footprint next year, bringing in additional rotary drills to upgrade and expand the resource. These activities will support the completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Kachi Project.
“Benchmark Mineral Intelligence noted that demand for lithium is growing at three times the rate of new supply,” said Lake general manager Steve Promnitz.
“This environmentally sustainable project is coming to market at the right time, with equity and debt backing and a growing list of potential buyers.”
Scale and potential
A recent site visit by a project finance due diligence team from the Export Credit Agency (ECA) confirmed the size and promise of the Kachi project.
Lake executives were recently in London and received support and encouragement for the project during recent discussions with ECA and ECA-supported international banks.
This scale and potential can be seen in a new 3D flyover of Lake’s Kachi Lithium Brine Project available on the lake. website. The project covers 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) of leases, in an area subject to increased activity and investment.
Drilling to date has focused on the southwest corner of the known salt lake and surrounding areas. The recent resource statement released to the ASX highlighted a significant upside beyond the sizable total resource of 4.4 million tonnes LCE (stated 1.0 million tonnes, inferred 3.4 million tonnes).
Less than 20% of the current total resource is allocated to the planned production of 25,500 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate over 25 years.
Further infill drilling will help convert the resources to a higher category with more data.
Current Drilling Efforts
A 1,200m, four-hole diamond drill program is underway and may be extended pending initial results.
A water well rig completed three wells exploring process water options. A third rig completed pre-collar holes and pumped brine samples. Another rig is planned for drilling production wells in the coming months in 2022.
The company expects to update the market with results and a drill program plan early in the new year.
“Argentina continues to be one of the few places where lithium production can expand to fill the large gap between supply and growing demand,” Promnitz said.
“Lake is one of the few companies with the potential to transition into a globally significant producer with a number of projects capable of delivering high-purity lithium carbonate at scale with significant ESG benefits.”
“Lake, together with our technology partner Lilac Solutions, continues to make progress towards final investment decision and the start of construction of the flagship Kachi Lithium Brine project next year.”