Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE, OTCQB:LLKKF) has launched an expansion and integration strategy to accelerate its portfolio of assets in Argentina to implement the TARGET 100 program – aiming to produce 100,000 tonnes of lithium of high purity per year on the market in 2030.
The company is proposing a US$15 million program on its three wholly-owned projects – Olaroz, Cauchari and Paso – for drilling and brine testing to accelerate the transformation of these projects into feasibility studies under the TARGET 100 program.
Going forward, a separate exploration and test team dedicated to the rapid development of Lake’s other three brine projects in Argentina will utilize the comprehensive dataset developed during the project’s direct mining processing test work. Kachi.
Lake Chairman Stu Crow said: “Discussions with potential partners to help expedite the production of these assets are ongoing as part of Lake’s ongoing discussions with battery metals and metals customers. Lake’s desire to become an integrated and valuable part of global supply chains.”
Crow outlined four reasons why the formal decision to expand the Kachi project has also given the company the confidence to accelerate the expansion and integration of Lake’s other assets in Argentina:
- increasing demand from potential supply partners for a secure supply chain of environmentally friendly high-purity lithium carbonate;
- indicative support for the financing of new projects by export credit agencies and the international banking panel. The export credit agencies of the UK and Canada have already indicated their willingness to project debt financing of around 70% of the Kachi project’s capital requirements;
- the favorable investment policies of the Argentine government which announced a process of reduction of export taxes as part of the strategic mining development plan;
- the confidence of technology partner Lilac Solutions that its modular direct lithium extraction technology is scalable and cost effective.
“This, combined with growing customer and consumer scrutiny regarding the environmental credentials of lithium production; and concerns about security of supply, have given us the confidence to accelerate these developments,” said Crow.
Lake’s drilling program began with the first rotary well of a 10-hole, 4,000 meter program, in the northern areas of the Olaroz concessions, which cover a 30 kilometer long area on the east side of the lithium producers established.
These projects are located in the province of Jujuy, in the northwest of Argentina, near the Allkem (Orocobre) Olaroz operation and the Lithium Americas – Ganfeng JV Cauchari project.
The boreholes are designed to quickly quantify identified brines, develop aquifers, perform pumping tests and provide data for early feasibility studies, which will be followed later by diamond drilling.
Additionally, the brines will be sampled and tested with an environmentally friendly direct lithium extraction method, similar to previous work conducted on lithium brines from the Kachi project.
Lake General Manager Steve Promnitz added, “Direct lithium mining, which will be used on Lake’s multiple lithium projects, can deliver scalable projects faster to market and meet rapidly increasing demand.