- Chile’s lithium exports reached $85 million in July, more than double that of the same month last year
- Exploratory drilling at Ollague discovers a major zone of brine 110 meters below surface in first hole
- Lithium Chile wholly owns 152,900 hectares in the world’s highest-grade lithium district making it the largest lithium project landholder outside of the government and SQM
Chile’s lithium exports are soaring, with production hitting $85 million in July, more than double that of July 2017. Additionally, the country’s lithium revenues have gone up more than 51 percent since the start of 2018 (http://nnw.fm/3foE5).
The largest private owner of lithium-rich land in the South American country, Lithium Chile, Inc. (TSX.V: LITH) (OTCQB: LTMCF) is continuing its progress toward taking a serious stake in this fast-growing market, with exploratory drilling at its wholly owned Ollague property yielding promising results. The company recently released an update on the work at the property and reported that a 180-meter zone of brine has been found just 110 meters below the surface (http://nnw.fm/1h2wY). Samples of this brine are currently being assayed by an internationally-accredited laboratory to identify the presence of lithium and assess its concentration.
Lithium Chile director and expert in the South American lithium sector, Andrew Bowering explained that, while 70 percent of the world’s lithium occurs in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, Bolivia does not allow foreign ownership and therefore no lithium production comes out of that country, and Argentina has significantly lower lithium grades than Chile, with less overall lithium and less opportunity. “We’re going to see a lot more foreign investment coming into Chile as a result of changing mining conditions,” Bowering said in a news release.
Chile also has the lowest lithium production costs in the world. Australia, for example, another of the world’s largest producers, has to extract lithium out of hard rock. This costs magnitudes more than in Chile, whose lithium reserves are held in brine found underneath the country’s northern salt flats.
Lithium Chile owns 15 projects in the world’s highest-grade lithium district. The company fully owns 152,900 hectares located within 14 salars and one laguna complex. The samples taken to date are very promising, and this is just the first drill hole of what is set to be a multi-project program. With $8 million in working capital and exploration well underway, the company is aiming for resource estimates later this year.
“After amassing one of the largest lithium land packages in Chile, we have now begun drilling on one of our more advanced projects which have had sampling and geophysics completed on them,” Lithium Chile President and CEO Steve Cochrane said in a news release. “The new government has been clear in its support for the lithium sector and we are similarly encouraged by the strong community support we have received. This is an exciting new growth phase for the Company and our goal is to maximize our early-mover exploration advantage in Chile.”
Lithium Chile has assembled a team of industry heavyweights to lead it forward as it realizes its potential. Between them, the team has accumulated many decades of experience in the natural resources and mineral exploration sectors. Crucially, it also has excellent in-country connections thanks to its VP of exploration and chief geologist, Terry Walker, who has been based in Chile for the last 25 years. These connections have enabled the company to get community support for its drill programs and start drilling while competing explorers have yet to mobilize a single drill rig.
The rise in electric vehicles is fueling world lithium demand, since lithium is a key component of the batteries that power these vehicles. Some industry experts estimate that 80 percent of all new vehicle sales will be electric within the next 15 years. Numerous governments around the world, including heavyweights like China, are throwing their weight behind the electric vehicle revolution. A number have already legislated future bans on gas-driven cars within the next two decades, and others are planning similar bans. According to Grand View Research, the global lithium-ion battery market is expected to reach $93.1 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 17 percent (http://nnw.fm/Z3e0S).
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/LTMCF
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