Latin Resources to begin exploration on Salinas Project in lithium-rich yet underexplored area of Brazil

Latin Resources to begin exploration on Salinas Project in lithium-rich yet underexplored area of Brazil

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Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (FRA:XL5) will start extensive exploration on Salinas Lithium Project held by 100%-owned Brazilian subsidiary, Mineracao Ferro Nordeste, in the Jequitinhonha Valley region of Minas Gerais, a lithium-rich but underexplored region.  This region hosts the Eastern Brazilian pegmatite province, home to Sigma Lithium and lithium producer Companhia Brasileira de Lítio (CBL).   Jequitinhonha Valley is a highly underexplored region that currently contains 100% of the official lithium reserves of Brazil.  Latin has appointed local geologists to carry out fieldwork on the Salinas tenements with the key objective to define drill targets and to begin drilling in the second quarter of 2021.  Start of lithium strategy Latin Resources executive director Chris Gale said: “We are extremely pleased to start work again on our very exciting Brazilian lithium projects. “The work carried out in 2019 by our technical team has uncovered some wonderful opportunities in Brazil. “The more we investigate Minas Gerais, the more we get excited about the huge potential this underexplored region holds. “This significant time and investment into Brazil marks the start of the company’s lithium strategy to develop valuable lithium projects in a fantastic mining province. “I am very confident that the company can quickly and effectively execute exploration programs in Brazil, which we hope will deliver positive news to its shareholders in a very timely fashion.” Lithium sector sees upswing The extensive work program comes at a time of a strengthening lithium market. A survey by S&P Global Platts found that the vast majority of those in the sector believe lithium is experiencing a significant upswing. Some 96% of respondents expect Chinas demand for lithium metals to rise further in 2021, with stimulus measures expected to boost demand for electric vehicles (EVs). A whopping 91% and 78% of market participants believe China's battery-grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices will be higher this year compared to 2020. There are expectations that lithium carbonate price could go beyond ¥80,000 per tonne, levels not seen since mid-2018. The other factor in the lithium market is spodumene, a mineral that is an important source of lithium. More than half (57%) of respondents believed spodumene supply would remain tight due to expanding lithium carbonate and hydroxide capacity, S&P Global Platts said, which would, in turn, bolster Chinese lithium metals prices. A GlobalData report says global demand for lithium will rise to 117,400 tonnes by 2024. Further work on pegmatites Latin’s geologists completed significant fieldwork on the tenements in 2019, which located several occurrences of spodumene never previously known or reported.   The exploration program showed numerous pegmatites were hosted in schist and showed homogenous spodumene mineralisation. Further work on the pegmatites will now be followed up to determine their relationship to the Salinas main pegmatite which is 1.5 kilometres northeast. The 600 metres distance between points in the west and points in the east showing spodumene mineralisation is a good sign for a potential continuous pegmatite field below surface. Focus will be now given to the well-advanced spodumene tenure, which will allow the company to rapidly drill test any potential lithium deposit and enable it to be quickly advanced to JORC compliancy. The company’s in-country resources will be directed on the Brazilian lithium projects, where Latin Resources believe they can effectively execute exploration programs to deliver positive news and results to its shareholders in a timely manner. Latin Resources’ geologists identifying large spodumene crystals in an abandoned spodumene mine in Minas Gerais in 2019. Minas Gerais activity Sigma Lithium Resources Corp (CVE:SGMA) (OTCMKTS:SGMLF) is one of the most active lithium explorers in the region with a world-class lithium resource base, which currently stands at 45.7 million tonnes at 1.38% lithium oxide . Sigma is focused on 10 high-grade hard-rock lithium pegmatites, nine of which were past-producing lithium mines, yet have reported more than 200 pegmatites within its tenure. That company is now in pre-construction of its large-scale lithium concentration commercial production plant in Minas Gerais. Based on the feasibility study report, the commercial production plant will contemplate a capacity of 220,000 tonnes annually of battery-grade ‘green’ lithium concentrate and Sigma will be amongst the lowest-cost producers of lithium concentrate globally. Not far away, CBL is actively mining spodumene pegmatites, producing a spodumene concentrate which is then transferred to a chemical plant in Divisa Alegre, Minas Gerais, where it is transformed into industrial grade lithium hydroxide. The state of Minas Gerais is well served by infrastructure, roads, hydroelectric power, water and the port of Vitoria in neighbouring Espirito Santo State. Minas Gerais is particularly efficient in its issuing of drilling permits and environmental approvals. The province remains extremely prospective for lithium given the little amount of modern exploration investment. Integra Capital Argentina JV The joint venture between Latin Resources and Integra Capital in Argentina is progressing well and exploration work is expected to begin the next quarter, now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in the Province of Catamarca. Integra will spend up to US$1 million (A$1.4 million) under the JV, which will underpin an aggressive exploration program on the Catamarca concessions, with the initial aim of delivering a maiden JORC resource. Following the release of a maiden JORC resource on the projects, the JV’s focus will turn to project development, including feasibility, engineering and metallurgy studies to produce a lithium spodumene concentrate. Latin has already developed a high-level scoping study with consulting engineers Primero Group for the Argentinian lithium assets. Under the JV, Latin Resources will be free-carried through initial exploration with financing for the construction of the processing plant to be in line with percentage ownership between Integra and Latin of the project partnership at the time of the final investment decision.

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