3.7 Fold Increase in Mineral Resource Estimate
Major Lithium Resource Upgrade at Maricunga
- Major 3.7 fold increase of high grade Measured, Indicated and Inferred resource to 2.15 million tonnes (Mt) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 5.7 Mt potassium chloride (KCl) to a depth of 200m in accordance with JORC Code (2012)
- 80% Measured and Indicated resource estimate for 1.72 Mt of LCE and 4.5 Mt of KCl with a 20% Inferred resource of 0.43 Mt of LCE and 1.2 Mt KCl
- High quality resource, with one of the highest average resource concentrations globally of 1,160 mg/l lithium and 8,500 mg/l potassium, with very favourable porosity and permeability which are essential for resource extraction
- Moderate magnesium/lithium ratio of 6.5, comparable to the Salar de Atacama, with a very low sulphate/lithium ratio of 0.8
- Process test work advancing, with preliminary engineering and design underway and a pre-feasibility study targeted for release in 4Q CY17
The Maricunga project (MJV) is located in northern Chile, home to the largest and highest-grade lithium brine mines in the "Lithium Triangle" (see Figure 3 in the link below) and source of the world's lowest cost lithium production. Maricunga is regarded as one of the highest quality pre-production lithium brine projects globally. The Litio 1-6 properties in the Maricunga salar (salt lake) were subject to significant past exploration by our Joint Venture partners, who generated the historical 2012 Canadian NI43-101 resource estimate.
The 2016-17 drilling program was undertaken to expand the resource on the existing Litio properties and those acquired since the 2012 resource estimate (Cocina, San Francisco, Despreciada and Salamina). This provides a new expanded mineral resource estimate for the combined property package in Table 1 (see the link below), reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) and estimated by a Competent Person as defined by the JORC Code. The 2016-17 program expanded the resource 3.7 fold through discovery of higher porosity sediments in the more recently acquired properties and below 150 m depth in the Litio 1-6 properties.
The Measured and Indicated categories comprise 80% of the updated resource, with the Inferred category the remaining 20% of the total 2.15 Mt LCE resource defined to only 200m. One deep hole (S19) was drilled to 360 m. This hole encountered a continuation to depth of the aquifers hosting lithium resources above 200 m.
An exploration target (see Note below) of 1.0 to 2.5 Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 2.9 to 6.6 Mt of potassium chloride (KCl) is defined below the base of the resource at 200 m, to a depth up to 400 m (see Table 2 in the link below). With the exploration target (see Note below) there is significant potential for resource expansion. Figure 1 (see the link below) illustrates the comparison of the 2012 resource estimate and the updated July 2017 estimate. Figure 2 (see the link below) shows growth of the Maricunga resource and exploration target (see Note below) and how Maricunga, with very high grades, compares to other lithium brine projects.
Lithium Power International's Chief Executive Officer, Martin Holland, commented:
"It is of great pleasure for me as CEO to announce this significant Maricunga resource upgrade. The project team has worked very hard to deliver the upgraded mineral resource estimate in accordance with the JORC Code (2012). Not only is the resource much larger than defined in 2012 but there is a very significant exploration target beneath the resource with reasonable expectation that deeper drilling would add further resources to the project. In addition to a favourable resource base our technical team has also confirmed the positive porosity and permeability characteristics of sediments hosting the brine for future extraction. All this is in addition to the very high lithium and potassium grades contained in the brine. With these excellent characteristics we look forward to completing the project feasibility studies and moving forward to production as a low cost lithium producer. The LPI board would like thank all shareholders for your continued support".
Note: It must be stressed that an exploration target is not a mineral resource. The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target is conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource in the volume where the Exploration Target is outlined. It is uncertain if further exploration drilling will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource in this volume. The relationship of the exploration target to key technical and economic factors is presented in Figure 12 (see the link below).
To view the full release with tables and figures, please visit:
About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) (FRA:24L) is a pure-play lithium explorer and developer, focusing on developing and fast-tracking to production the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
LPI has a well known performing technical team with the experience to take the Maricunga project all the way through the development stages to production.
The regions that LPI is currently focussed on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – On 13th September 2016, Lithium Power announced the creation of a new JV to develop the world-class Maricunga lithium brine deposit in northern Chile.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has one granted exploration tenement and two pending exploration applications covering 203km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is at Pilgangoora-Houston Creek is 2-3km west of the Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) lithium deposits.
3. Greenbushes (Western Australia) – LPI has two granted exploration tenements covering 400km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine owned & operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) –Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of 6 granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the 6 granted tenements cover an area of 61.52km2. In addition, there is 1 further tenement in the grant review stage.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenement which is the subject of review by the Argentinian mining authorities).
Lithium Power International Ltd