Lithium Ionic Corp. [TSXV-LTH; OTCQX-LTHCF; FSE-H3] reported additional results from a continuing drilling program at the Bandeira project, located in northern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The company is rapidly advancing Bandeira, situated within the emerging “Lithium Valley”, where two lithium producers currently operate.
These results form part of a large 50,000-metre drill program underway for H2 2023, which is focused on expanding and upgrading existing mineral resource estimates to support a planned Feasibility Study, as well as grow the known mineralization at other prospective regional targets.
Bandeira drill intercept highlights included 1.64% Li2O over 13.5 metres, including 2.06% Li2O over 7.8 metres, as well as 1.78% Li2O over 5.8m (hole ITDD-23-180); 1.37% Li2O over 10.4m and 1.65% Li2O over 4.3m (hole ITDD-23-174); 2.18% Li2O over 5.8m (hole ITDD-23-177); 1.95% Li2O over 5.7m (hole ITDD-23-171); 1.50% Li2O over 6.7m (hole ITDD-23-173); 3.57% Li2O over 2.4m, 1.54% Li2O over 4.7m and 1.84% Li2O over 3.3m (hole ITDD-23-185); 1.57% Li2O over 5.0m (hole ITDD-23-176); 1.32% Li2O over 5.2m (hole ITDD-23-182); 1.69% Li2O over 4.0m and 1.78% Li2O over 3.8m (hole ITDD-23-172); 1.46% Li2O over 4.4m (hole ITDD-23-170).
Blake Hylands, P.Geo., CEO, commented, “The multiple intercepts of significant widths, and above our resource grade, announced today demonstrates the potential for the mineral resources at Bandeira to quickly keep expanding and improving. We believe this additional infill drill data will support significant resource conversion, ultimately reinforcing and potentially enhancing the excellent results from our PEA.”
The company began drilling Bandeira in April 2022, reporting an initial mineral resource estimate (MRE) in June 2023. In October 2023, an updated MRE at Bandeira showcased a near-doubling of the MRE, which formed the basis of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). This study supported a long-life and low-cost spodumene concentrate mining project with a post-tax Net Present Value (NPV) 8% of US$1.6 billion (~C$2.2 billion) and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 121%.
The company is currently undertaking an independent NI 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study, including an updated MRE, expected to be completed in early 2024.
The Bandeira Project is located in the same district where Companhia Brasileira de Litio (CBL)’s Cachoeira mine has been producing lithium for +30 years, and recent producer Sigma Lithium operates the Grota do Cirillo project, which hosts the largest hard rock lithium deposit in the Americas.
The company is rapidly advancing Bandeira towards a production decision, while it continues to explore and define regional targets. Permitting activities are progressing well, in parallel with the advancement of project engineering. NEO Agroambiental Ltda is completing the RCA (Environmental Control Report) and PCA (Environmental Control Plan) to support the application of a Concomitant Environmental and Installation License (LAC, or Licenca Ambiental Concomitante) for the Bandeira operation, which is expected to be submitted by the end of the year. The LAC is an accelerated permitting scenario available to projects such as Bandeira, whose mine infrastructure covers a small footprint where deforestation is not required. The LAC replaces the first two steps of the environmental licensing process: the Preliminary License (LP – Licenca Previa) and the Installation License (LI – Licenca de Instalacao); which precede the final Operating License (LO – Licenca de Operacao).
Lithium Ionic is a Canadian mining company exploring and developing its lithium properties in Brazil. Its Itinga and Salinas group of properties cover 14,182 hectares in the northeastern part of Minas Gerais state, a mining-friendly jurisdiction that is quickly emerging as a world-class hard-rock lithium district.