Recent drilling confirms the size and promise of the project, which the company is now convinced contains lithium resources far beyond current estimates.
Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE, OTCQB: LLKKF) drill program on the Kachi Lithium project in Argentina continues to bolster the company’s optimism – derived from previous assay results – that lithium brines will expand well beyond the limits of the current resource.
The drilling supports the potential for doubling 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, using additional rotary rigs to upgrade and expand the resource. These activities will support the completion of a Final Feasibility Study (DFS) and a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Kachi project.
“Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has noted that the demand for lithium is growing three times faster than the new supply,” said Lake General Manager Steve Promnitz.
“This eco-friendly project is coming to market at just the right time, with equity and debt support and a growing list of potential buyers.”
Scale and potential
A recent site visit by an Export Credit Agency (ECA) project finance due diligence team confirmed the size and promise of the Kachi project.
The leaders of Lake were recently in London and received support and encouragement for the project in recent discussions with the ECA and the international banks supported by the ECA.
This scale and potential can be seen in a new 3D flyover of the Lake 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.
To date, drilling has focused on the southwest corner of the known salt lake and its surroundings. The recent resource statement released to ASX indicated a dramatic rise beyond the large total resource of 4.4 million tonnes of LCE (reported 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.
New infill drilling will facilitate the conversion of resources to a higher grade with increased data.
Drilling efforts in progress
A 1,200m four-well diamond drilling program is underway and may be extended, pending initial results.
A water drilling rig has completed three wells exploring process water options. A third platform completed pre-collar holes and pumped brine samples. Another platform is planned for the drilling of production wells in the coming months in 2022.
The company plans 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 increase to fill the large supply gap in the face of growing demand,” Promnitz said.
“Lake is one of the few companies that can transform into a world-class producer with a number of projects that can deliver high-purity lithium carbonate on a large scale with significant ESG benefits. ”
“Lake, together with our technology partner Lilac Solutions, continues to make progress towards the final investment decision and the start of construction of the Kachi Lithium Brine flagship project next year. ”