Latin Resources have once again demonstrated the sky-high potential of its Colina lithium deposit located within its Salinas Project in Brazil, having delivered a massive 241 per cent increase to the deposit’s resource which now stands at a considerable 45.2Mt lithium at an average grade of 1.34% Li2O.
Expanding Lithium Horizons
Completed by a third-party organisation, the MRE upgrade is the culmination of months of work by Latin and its team, in particular, an extensive 135-hole diamond drilling campaign undertaken across the deposit which delivered consistent high-grade lithium hits and uncovered additional pegmatite swarms outside of the known deposit, extending mineralisation over a 2km by 1km corridor.
Figure 1: Updated Colina drill collar plan showing the updated MRE Block model, drill collar location and drill hole traces
Along with significantly boosting the tonnage and grade of Colina’s lithium bounty, the MRE upgrade has also set a strong basis for a planned Preliminary Economic Assessment which the Company hopes to complete by the end of the third quarter, having moved 67 per cent of the Project’s resource, or 30.2Mt @ 1.4% Li2O, into the measured + indicated category.
The upgraded resource of 45 million tonnes represents a Lithium Carbonate Equivalent of 1,477,000 tonnes, further growing Latin’s potential to define Colina as a tier-one global deposit, which is considered to be equivalent to 100Kt LCE with 20-year mine life and with examples including the world-class Greenbushes Project.
Keeping Up the Pace
Despite having delivered the MRE, Latin remains relentless as it deploys eight rigs to complete the remaining balance of the 2023 65 thousand-metre drilling campaign. Goals include testing extensions along the southwest strike of the Colina resource and exploring depths beneath the known resource.
The Company is confident that Colina hosts one large continuous mineralised lithium system, giving it the potential to develop the deposit’s resource even further.
Alongside testing extensions and potential resource upsides, drilling will also work to enable the conversion of resources into reserve material to form the basis of a definitive feasibility study planned for next year as well as provide materials for further metallurgical testwork to inform the DFS studies, with previous work from the site showing exceptional average lithium recovery rates exceeding 80 per cent.
Building Brazilian Lithium
As drilling continues, the Company will resume the development of the deposit’s Preliminary Economic Assessment, which was temporarily halted to incorporate the updated MRE findings. The focus now shifts towards planning the next steps for bringing this promising project into production and beyond, with the Company recently raising $AUD37.1 million dollars to expedite the development of both the Colina and the greater Salinas Project.
As the Company moves the Project into the next stage, it will be well supported by the Brazilian government through its Lithium Valley Brazil Initiative, which seeks to foster significant increases in the production of high-purity, battery-grade lithium by streamlining the development and construction of projects in the lithium mining and processing industries.
Latin is already a loyal supporter of the Lithium Valley Brazil Initiative, as evidenced by the active participation of Managing Director Chris Gale. In a momentous event last month, Chris Gale joined forces with Ana Cabral-Gardner, the Chief Executive and Co-Chairperson of Sigma Lithium, a prominent Brazil-focused lithium company. Together with Romeu Zema, the Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, and Vitor Saback, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, they rang the NASDAQ opening bell to commemorate the launch of this transformative initiative.
Being well-funded, well-staffed and well-supported by both state and federal authorities, the explorer is well-positioned to take the Project through DFS into production. The Company’s estimations indicate that, combining its projected lithium production with Sigma Lithium’s 700kt production, Brazil is poised to become the world’s third-largest producer of this vital battery metal.
The Company said that following the significant upgrade, Colina is expanding to become a much larger exploration project than it initially expected.
“The increase in both size and grade reflects our early confidence in the prospective nature of our tenure in Brazil to potentially produce a tier one lithium deposit,” Managing Director Chris Gale said.
“This significant upgraded resource, and the potential value added of strengthening lithium prices, will provide solid inputs into our Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) which we believe sets us up well for future success.”
“Our eight drill rigs will remain busy with this program through to the end of the year, and we eagerly await more resource upgrade results from these potential expansion areas, I thank all of our team at Latin and shareholders for their support thus far, we look forward to bringing updates as they are received over the coming months.”
LRS’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 4.99 per cent today, currently selling at 21c (9:30 am UTC+ 8 hours).