With lithium demand expected to explode about eight times over by 2040, finding new lithium deposits has become top priority. Unfortunately, according to Morningstar.com, “Rising electric vehicle adoption and the increasing buildout of energy storage systems will keep lithium demand growing to surpass 1 million metric tons in 2024, from 800,000 in 2022, eventually hitting 2.5 million metric tons by 2030.” That’s all substantial news for companies, such as European Energy Metals Corp. (TSXV: FIN) (OTC: EUEMF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI) (TSXV: LI), Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ: PLL) and Sigma Lithium (NASDAQ: SGML) (TSXV: SGML).
Also, as noted by the Financial Times, “The International Energy Agency has predicted consumption could increase by a factor of more than 40 between 2020 and 2040, on the back of rapid growth in the use of lithium-ion batteries needed for electric vehicles and energy storage.” Helping, “ExxonMobil plans to begin producing lithium in 2027 in a major strategic pivot, as the biggest western oil producer bets it can use its expertise in drilling and processing to become a leading player in the battery metal.”
Look at European Energy Metals Corp. (TSXV: FIN) (OTC: EUEMF), For Example
European Energy Metals Corp. announced it has submitted applications for two Exploration Licenses covering an area of 4,550 hectares within the 11,690 hectare (ha) Nabba Reservation. The Nabba EL (2,812 ha) and Nabba 2 EL (1,738 ha) are located on the northern half of the Nabba Reservation and adjacent to the Keliber Projects of Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE: SBSW). Under an Exploration License or EL, the Company would be permitted to undertake more advanced exploration such as detailed base-of-till (BoT) sampling, trenching and diamond drilling.
An estimated €600 million investment by Keliber’s parent company Sibanye-Stillwater Limited in partnership with the Finnish Minerals Group (www.mineralsgroup.fi) is underway and will see the development of open-pit and underground mining from several deposits, construction of a central Spodumene Concentrator Plant and a Lithium Hydroxide Chemical Plant at tidewater in Kokkola. When completed, this complex will comprise a complete hard-rock spodumene pegmatite lithium supply chain (Source: Sibanye-Stillwater website).
The Nabba ELs lie <8 km west of Keliber’s Spodumene Concentrator Plant and several previously known Li-spodumene pegmatite prospects/deposits occur within 1 km of the Nabba licences, including the Emmes Deposit which hosts NNW-SSE trending Li-bearing, spodumene pegmatites, and a resource of 1.08 Mt grading 1.22% Li2O (Geological Survey of Finland). The Nabba EL’s also cover historical Base of Till lithium anomalies which are interpreted by the Company to be relatively close to source (see Company News Release May 30, 2023).
“The advancement of our reservations to exploration licenses represents a significant milestone for the company as our understanding of the potential of lithium-bearing mineralization on our projects evolves” commented Jeremy Poirier, CEO of European Energy Metals. “With our Phase 1 exploration program nearing conclusion, we are eagerly awaiting the results from the field and assays at the lab to finalize our 2024 exploration program.”
Pursuant to an earn-in agreement with Capella Minerals Ltd (TSXV: CMIL)., European Energy has the right to earn an 80% interest in the Finnish Pegmatite Project by issuing 1,750,000 shares, paying Cdn$500,000 and incurring Cdn$2,500,000 dollars in exploration expenditures staged over a 4 year earn in period. A detailed assessment of the historic and government exploration data compiled by the Finnish Geological Survey identified a series of permissive tracts for LCT pegmatites. The concessions comprising the Finnish Pegmatite Project were identified as a result of this pegmatite research.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Albemarle announced its results for the third quarter. Albemarle grew net sales by 10%, driven by higher volumes in our Energy Storage business,” said Albemarle CEO Kent Masters. “In the third quarter, we formed new strategic partnerships and streamlined our existing MARBL joint venture to better position Albemarle for long-term growth. Our investments across the globe continue to progress, with the Meishan project ahead of schedule for completion in early 2024. Through our operating model, Albemarle Way of Excellence, we are on track to achieve more than $170 million in productivity benefits in 2023 and expect to achieve additional benefits in 2024 as we continue to operate with a disciplined approach.”
American Lithium Corp. announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate that significantly increases the contained lithium for the Falchani Lithium deposit located in Puno, southwestern Peru from the previous March 2019 MRE. The updated MRE update was completed by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. as part of the process of updating the preliminary economic assessment for Falchani and will be incorporated into the mine plan within the updated PEA. DRA Global (Lead Engineer for the updated PEA and PFS on Falchani) is now finalizing the updated PEA with completion expected during November.
Piedmont Lithium announced that initial 2023 drill campaign results from the jointly owned North American Lithium project have identified multiple, thick, high-grade spodumene-bearing pegmatites. Drill results identified new, high-grade mineralized zones along the northwest margin of the NAL deposit, beyond the current NAL pit operations and the planned pit shell model. Additionally, mineralization from inside the pit shell model shows continuity and consistency in grade and thickness, providing the potential for mineral resource conversion within the pit shell model as well as definition below the existing pit.
Sigma Lithium provided an update on its exploration program to date, conducted in close coordination with SGS Canada, including initial mineral resource potential for Phase 4 and plans for acceleration of the Exploration Program. The Company expects the results of the Exploration Program could represent an increase of its total mineral resource estimate to 110 Mt: The Company increased the exploration potential of Phase 4 to approximately 26 to 30Mt, with ore body extensions continuing to the east, based on the drilling results received to date. This is a significant 25% potential increase to the Grota do Cirilo mineral resource estimate, delivering further consistent high-grade assay results which are to be incorporated into an updated NI 43-101 compliant technical report expected to be released in Q4 2023.
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