Lithium Miners Look To South America Which Has 66% Of World Reserves
Palm Beach, FL – (January 24, 2019) – In the global rush to supply lithium batteries for the electric car revolution, South America is most likely where the supply will originate. Chile & Argentina are the two main players. Both have their reserves largely in brine deposits which are the most financially advantageous sites. 66% of the world’s reserves are in South America. Chile, the number 2 producer in the world also has the largest reserves but Argentina is 3rd in both producing and reserves… and more importantly… has less government hurdles to overcome. An industry magazine, The Business Financial Post reported that Argentina is set on becoming a lithium superpower. “Argentina is looking to take market share from neighboring Chile where would-be producers need authorization from the nuclear energy commission in a throwback to a 1979 decision to declare lithium “strategic.” Under President Mauricio Macri, Argentina has ambitions to become a lithium superpower, supplying as much as 45 per cent of the market, up from about 16 per cent now. Battery makers are depending on the South American nation’s high-altitude salt flats as a key new supply of the metal, with vast deposits and an investor-friendly government luring prospectors and developers. Active stocks in the markets this week include NRG Metals Inc. (TSX-V:NGZ) (OTC:NRGMF). Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSX:NMX) (OTC:NMKEF), LSC Lithium Corporation (TSX-V:LSC), Neo Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:NLC) (OTC:NTTHF), Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:ML) (OTC:MLNLF).
NRG Metals Inc. (TSX-V:NGZ.V) (OTCQB:NRGMF) BREAKING NEWS: NRG Metals is pleased to announce that it has selected Knight Piésold Consulting (KP) and JDS Energy & Mining (JDS) to prepare a National Instrument 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its flagship Hombre Muerto Norte (HMN) Lithium Project, located in Salta Province, Argentina.
The HMN Project is strategically located in the Hombre Muerto Salar, an area of active lithium production. The development strategy for HMN focuses on production of 5,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate, with the potential for expansion. A site visit was completed in December 2018 and the project evaluation and report are progressing in a timely manner. The report is expected to be completed during Q1 2019.
KP is a global consulting firm that provides specialized services to the mining, power, water resources, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries. The company focuses on creating value at every stage of a project through quality driven, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions. Established in South Africa in 1921, KP has expanded their reach into a global network of over 800 professionals based in offices in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. KP has extensive experience working in Argentina, with offices in Mendoza, San Juan and Neuquen.
JDS is an engineering, project, and construction management firm composed of a diverse set of skilled and highly experienced mining and construction professionals. With a proven record of providing clients with fit-for-purpose solutions and value delivery, JDS has acquired a reputation for delivering and executing project plans on budget, on time, and most importantly, safely. The JDS team prides itself on delivering project concepts from inception to full operations, providing clients with technical engineering support, onsite operations services and EPCM.
NRG recently filed a report titled “Initial Measured Lithium and Potassium Resource Estimate Hombre Muerto North Project, Salta and Catamarca Provinces, Argentina.” The report was completed in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, on behalf of the Company by independent consultants Montgomery and Associates, of Santiago Chile. The report identifies 571,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent at a grade of 756 parts per million lithium in the combined Measured and Indicated categories, with a low magnesium to lithium ratio of 2.6 to 1.0 (October 3, 2108 press release) that will be used in the completion of the PEA. Read this and more news for NRG Metals at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-ngz/
Other recent developments in the mining industry include:
Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSX:NMX.TO) (OTCQX:NMKEF) announced recently that it has appointed Robert Beaulieu as its new Vice President, Operations. Since January 3, Mr. Beaulieu has been overseeing the construction and operations readiness work that will lead to the commissioning of the Whabouchi mine and the Shawinigan electrochemical plant.
“We are truly pleased to welcome Robert to Nemaska Lithium, an incredible talent developed through various Canadian and international experiences,” said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. “Robert has led the start-up and operations of large-scale projects and we will benefit from his vast experience in transitioning from construction and development to ramp-up and commercial operations and process optimization. As we are fast approaching a new turning point in our history, his extensive track record in the development of complex and innovative mining and metallurgical processing projects will be an excellent addition to team.”
LSC Lithium Corporation (TSX-V:LSC.V) announced recently that it has entered into an arrangement agreement with Pluspetrol Resources Corporation B.V., pursuant to which Pluspetrol will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of LSC by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia).
Under the Arrangement, Pluspetrol would acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding common shares of LSC for cash consideration of C$0.6612 per LSC share (the “Transaction”). The Transaction was unanimously approved at the meeting of the LSC Board of Directors and the LSC Board of Directors recommends that LSC shareholders vote in favour of the Transaction. The Transaction provides total consideration of approximately C$111 million.
Neo Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:NLC.V) (OTCQX:NTTHF) recently announced that it has successfully completed and tested the pilot plant (the “Plant”) built by the Instituto de Investigaciones Tecnologicas from Universidad de Concepcion, Chile and has shipped the Plant to the warehouse in Fiambala, Catamarca, Argentina. The Company estimates that it will take 45 days for the Plant to be shipped, clear customs, and be reassembled and operational. The Plant was tested with artificial brine in Chile and the Company now is concentrating approximately 4% lithium brine in its pilot evaporation ponds to start production of lithium carbonate at the Plant. Currently the annual capacity of the pilot ponds is over 500 tons of approximate 4% lithium brine per year.
“I am pleased with the progress made and our ability to ship and commission the Plant during the first quarter which puts us on track with our objectives,” said Gabriel Pindar, Director and COO of Neo Lithium. “Management hopes the proposed prefeasibility study will support that the plant can produce battery grade lithium at one of the most competitive cash cost of the market.”
Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:ML.V) (OTCQX:MLNLF) recently reported that bench scale process test work completed by SGS Canada Inc. (SGS) in their facilities in Lakefield, ON on brine from the Company’s Pastos Grandes project in Salta, Argentina, has yielded battery grade (> 99.5% Li2CO3) lithium carbonate. Final purification testwork results yielded a lithium carbonate product that is 99.92% Li2CO3 with low levels of magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), boron (B), sulphate (SO4) and iron (Fe), with no other detectable metals.
Millennial President and CEO, Farhad Abasov, commented: “We are excited that the bench scale process test work recently completed by SGS has yielded very positive results with a lithium carbonate product purity of 99.92%. Typical lithium carbonate battery grade for EV batteries is approximately 99.5% Li2CO3,so we are very encouraged by these results that suggest the Pastos Grandes brine is amenable to industry standard processing and capable of producing a battery grade product. The bench scale testing has also provided an excellent framework for our pilot plant, which is currently in the final design phase, and provides a basis for the potential commercial plant design for the Company’s Definitive Feasibility Study.”
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