Lithium Power International (LPI) comments on activities in the lithium industry during the first quarterly period of 2023.
100% ownership of Minera Salar Blanco
LPI consolidated the ownership of the Maricunga lithium project in December 2022 by taking 100% ownership of the Chilean project company Minera Salar Blanco (MSB).
Work was undertaken on post consolation corporate matters during this quarter. Matters were particularly related to the Plan of Agreement associated with the acquisition of Bearing Lithium. Associated companies were delisted from the Canadian TXSV exchange.
The new ownership allows LPI to oversee the development of the Maricunga lithium project by streamlining decision-making and simplifying and de-risking the funding pathway for Maricunga. This enhances LPI’s ability to source capital from a wider range of providers to fund development in the lead-up to the Final Investment Decision.
These actions may be able to deliver enhanced returns to shareholders. This is evident in the promotional and liaison activities undertaken by MSB in Chile during the quarter.
Chile’s lithium policy initiatives
The Chilean National Lithium Policy outlines plans for the future implementation of lithium exploration. The plans will push Chile to the forefront of global lithium production as demand grows.
LPI and MSB have been in constant dialogue with the Chilean government and private institutions that have participated in the development of the Lithium Policy.
The Policy doesn’t constitute the nationalisation of Chile’s lithium industry. It will be implemented to set the conditions and parameters for the country to have more active involvement and higher financial returns in a strategic industry.
The NLP also seeks to accelerate the development of new projects in the country.
Here’s how the Lithium Policy will affect LPI’s Maricunga project:
- LPI’s Maricunga Stage One project development serves as an example by incorporating all social and community agreements as an integral part of its environmental permit. It is one of the few projects in Chile with a comprehensive indigenous consultation process;
- The Maricunga project has established broad-ranging sustainable development initiatives, which set a unique and complete ESG profile standard for the project. LPI’s corporate vision will make the Maricunga Project one of the first lithium operations globally to achieve carbon neutrality; and
- LPI embraces the possibilities for future public-private alliances, as declared by the NLP, for the development of Stage Two of the Maricunga project.
The release of the Lithium Policy sets the structure for the future development of the Chilean lithium industry.
LPI understands that it will be recognised as Chile’s next lithium producer as it continues with the execution of the development of the Maricunga Stage One project.
Greenbushes lithium exploration
A drilling programme was completed during the quarter at LPI’s East Kirup lithium prospect. This is part of the Greenbushes Project in the southwest of Western Australia.
The combined RC and diamond drilling programme demonstrated lithium anomalism in the soil, with results up to 232 ppm lithium (GS10448) near GBRC001. The host rocks are metabasites, amphibolites, and granofels with coarse grained garnet and amphibolite.
Ten holes for a total of 573 metres of RC drilling were completed along existing tracks. All work was completed safely and in accordance with the strict environmental and dieback hygiene protocols as outlined in the Conservation Management Plan.
Several 2m zones of quartz pink, potassic feldspar biotite and tourmaline were intercepted in both the RC and diamond holes. These were within the overall package of gneiss and granofels, and are potentially lithium pegmatites.
A detailed Ultra Fine soil sampling programme was completed over the main area of the East Kirup Prospect to aid the definition of targets and area to seek approval for future drill pads and tracks in the State Forest. Sampling was conducted on a 100m x 250m grid, and 199 samples were collected. The results showed three areas of anomalism, including lithium, caesium, rubidium, and tin.
Anomalies in the east and north showed that mineralisation was open to the east to the Thomas A prospect and further north. A sampling programme commenced at the Thomas A area in February to fully define the lithium anomalism. The assays of this partially completed programme are pending.
The drilling space now remains accessible for further surveying or re-entry as required, pending thin section petrography and the RC assay results.
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