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Lithium Energy adds more graphite to growing inventory

Updated: Apr 30

Reverse-circulation (RC) drill rig at Lithium Energy’s Corella tenement. Credit: File

Lithium Energy has made a significant high-grade graphite discovery at its 100 per cent-owned Corella graphite project in Queensland as it advances studies on a vertically-integrated battery anode material manufacturing business.

Assays from the company’s maiden 16-hole, 1594m reverse-circulation (RC) drilling program have confirmed high-grade graphite mineralisation of more than 15 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) across thick widths in multiple holes. The results included intersections of up to 27.4 per cent TGC.

Lithium Energy plans to book a maiden resource at Corella soon and has engaged a consultant geologist who recently completed a resource upgrade of its world-class Burke graphite deposit. The Burke project – which hosts one of the world’s highest-grade flake graphite deposits – is just 120km from Corella.

Burke hosts a total indicated and inferred resource of 9.1 million tonnes, recently upgraded from 6.3 million tonnes, at 14.4 per cent TGC for a total of 1.3 million tonnes of contained graphite.

The Corella discovery and its own pending maiden mineral resource estimate build on Lithium Energy’s existing graphite inventory and significantly expand its development options for a vertically-integrated battery anode material manufacturing facility.

Graphite is the biggest component of lithium-ion batteries, comprising more than half of each one and in excess of 95 per cent of its anode. Yet more than 90 per cent of the battery anode-quality spherical graphite is currently produced in China … and Lithium Energy is keen on changing that.

Following “excellent” metallurgical testwork results last month, the company is forging ahead with a pre-feasibility study on an Australian-based battery anode material production business that it expects to complete sometime in the current calendar year.

Management recently appointed Wave International to conduct the study in conjunction with Measured Group.

As we advance with the Pre-Feasibility Study for our Australian-based vertically integrated battery anode material manufacturing business, confirming a new graphite discovery at Corella is a highly positive development. The potential to add additional graphite from Corella to the already high-grade Resource at the Burke Tenement and thus expand overall Burke Project graphite inventory, offers the potential for significantly expanded development options for this exciting project. Lithium Energy executive chairman William Johnson

The company’s proposed manufacturing facility in Queensland would use bulk graphite-flake concentrate produced from its Burke and Corella deposits as feedstock. Metallurgical testwork has already confirmed the potential for purified spherical graphite – a battery anode precursor material – to be produced from Burke using environmentally-sustainable processes.

Lithium Energy is on the right track to achieving the required battery anode specifications. Testwork completed by the Beijing General Institute of Mining and Metallurgy has attained concentrates grading greater than 96 per cent TGC graphite-flake concentrate, which will be suitable as feedstock for the purified spherical graphite plant.

The company says further testwork will be conducted by multiple international vendors.

With both the mineral resource estimate for Corella and the pre-feasibility study on its purified spherical graphite plant pending, Lithium Energy appears to have plenty to look forward to.

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