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Latin drilling blitz uncovers more Brazilian lithium

Updated: Apr 23

Latin Resources working its Salinas lithium project in Brazil. Credit: File
Latin Resources working its Salinas lithium project in Brazil. Credit: File

A Latin Resources drilling blitz with 10 rigs working overtime at its Salinas lithium project has reeled in a swag of significant hits from a trio of targets in Brazil’s Minas Gerais region.

The company plunged a further 10 diamond drillholes for almost 3900m into the Colina south-west (Colina SW) target. Headline hits include 14.7m averaging 1.48 per cent lithium oxide from 157.6m, 13.8m at 1.69 per cent lithium oxide and an 11.2m run at 1.15 per cent lithium oxide.

Colina SW is a mere 560m south-west of Latin’s Colina deposit where it has already etched out a sizable mineral resource estimate of 45.6 million tonnes averaging 1.32 per cent lithium oxide. Management says the Colina SW target continues to deliver consistently thick, high-grade results, confirming its geological interpretation that the nearby Colina deposit is open along strike to the south-west.

At Colina, results from a further three diamond holes have returned 19m averaging 1.73 per cent lithium oxide, 14.4m at 1.34 per cent lithium oxide and a further 7.7m also at 1.34 per cent lithium oxide. A total of 18 holes for 6440m have been plunged into Colina since the latest resource estimate was released in June.

Management says consistently high-grade mineralisation intersected in infill and extensional drilling at Colina has boosted its confidence in its ability to build on the already sizable resource by year’s end.

Late last month, Latin wooed onlookers with the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) that forecast an after-tax net present value of US$2.5 billion (AU$3.6 billion), with an extraordinary internal rate of return of 132 per cent, in addition to a remarkable after-tax project payback period of about seven months.

The PEA – which is similar in nature to an Australian JORC scoping study – outlines an all-in sustaining cost of US$536 per tonne (AU$841 per tonne) and a life-of-mine revenue of US$8.4 billion (AU$12.6 billion).

Looking ahead, Latin has booked in a fleet of drill rigs for the post-festive period, revealing a commitment to extend this year’s 65,000m drill onslaught throughout 2024. The company says it will maintain an aggressive exploration approach focused on near-surface brownfield expansion of its Colina deposits.

Interestingly, in a wider search of its 38,000-hectare, 100 per cent-owned Salinas lithium project, Latin appears to have latched onto another intriguing pegmatite swarm at its Fog’s Block target, 12km south-west of Colina in an emerging project-scale lithium corridor. A further four diamond drill holes for 1612m have perforated the swarm, highlighting a 500m trend that extends to depths of 120m.

Notable results include 8.5m averaging 1.33 per cent lithium oxide, 8m at 1.08 per cent lithium oxide and a 5.5m run at 0.95 per cent lithium oxide.

A dedicated diamond drill rig continues at the prospect where the company is hoping a maiden resource estimate can be defined, increasing the global Colina project tonnage and enhancing its project economics.

In the adjacent newly-acquired tenement – Fog’s Block East – recent mapping and soil sampling has kicked up weathered spodumene-rich pegmatites coincident with strong lithium-in-soil anomalies. The new high-priority target will be the focus of drilling in the coming weeks.

Our understanding of the regional potential of the Salinas lithium project grows with every new discovery we make, with now three well defined mineralisation systems at Colina, Colina Southwest and Fog’s Block, with potentially a fourth now emerging. Latin Resources managing director Chris Gale

With an impressive fleet of diamond drill rigs beavering away at Salinas, Latin is on track to deliver a shot in the arm to its already sizeable resource, just in time for the festive season. That could leave the Latin board having more than one reason to celebrate at Salinas, which looks to be the gift that will just keep on giving.

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