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Latin Resources nails further high-grade Brazilian lithium hits

Drill chips from Latin Resources Salinas lithium project in Brazil. Credit: File

Latin Resources (ASX: LRS) has nailed a string of high-grade lithium hits at its Salinas project’s Colina deposit in Brazil, with multiple impressive intersections more than 20m thick grading higher than 1.4 per cent lithium oxide.

The diamond drill results were recorded in the central zone of the deposit and the company says it will use the stellar results to build on its existing Colina mineral resource of 63.5 million tonnes grading 1.3 per cent lithium oxide, with an update due shortly.

Latin says the completed 29-hole infill program was drilled on 100m spacings and says the results support the continuation of known high-grade mineralisation within stacked pegmatites and remains open along strike and down-dip. More than half of the program drill-holes intersected greater than 10m of mineralisation, grading more than 1.25 per cent lithium oxide.

Management says it encountered one of the best intersections recorded at the project, with 32.92m at 1.62 per cent lithium oxide from 325.19m, which included a 27.81m hit going 1.8 per cent lithium oxide. Thirty nine per cent, or 24.8 million tonnes of its existing resource is derived from mineralised pegmatites with a true-thickness greater than 15m.

With the Colina deposit infill drilling almost complete we are gearing up to run our next Mineral Resource Estimate. This update will be focused on increasing the JORC mineral classification of the existing 63.5Mt resource to enable the declaration of Mineral Reserves as part of the DFS which is currently underway. Results from our infill drilling have closely match our existing data, confirming the robustness of our early interpretations for the Colina Pegmatites.
Latin Resources vice president of operations for the Americas Tony Greenaway

Greenaway also said the company is planning to move some of its drill fleet to Planalto, its latest high-priority exploration target, where the first drill-hole intersected thick high-grade mineralisation.

Salinas is the flagship project for Latin and is in the south-eastern Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, a state known for being pro-mining and well endowed with lithium.

Importantly, Colina’s 63.5m tonne deposit contains a measured and indicated component of more than 41 million tonnes.

The company also has a smaller inferred resource at its Fog’s Block deposit of 6.8 million tonnes grading 0.9 per cent lithium oxide.

The total combined resource for the entire Salinas project now totals a significant 70.28 million tonnes at 1.27 per cent lithium oxide. Latin has completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment on the project that outlined a 3.6 million tonne per annum standalone mining and processing operation over two phases.

The economic study figures were compelling, showing an after-tax net present value (NPV) of US$2.5 billion (AU$3.6 billion) and a combined after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 132 per cent.

Latin is planning for a definitive feasibility study (DFS) to be released in the third quarter of this year.

Lithium may have retreated in price in the past 12 months, however there appears to be some “green shoots” developing on the horizon and a general expectation that a third lithium boom is inevitable.

The global electric vehicle (EV) market appears to be continuing on its growth path. Toyota, for example is planning to expand its EV lineup in Europe to six vehicle models by 2026, while Nissan is in the process of producing three new EV models at its plant in the UK.

With a growing resource that is marching towards the coveted 100 million tonne mark, Latin appears as well placed as any lithium developer in South America to benefit from the expected upswing when it comes.

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