Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) (‘LIT’ or ‘the Company’) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Alix Resources Corp of Canada (‘Alix’) to jointly develop lithium extraction technologies designed to advance Alix’s lithium concessions (together, ‘the Electra Project’) in Sonora, Mexico. Mexico’s second largest state, Sonora is located in the northwest of the country.
LIT/Alix’s Electra Project comprises two large, strategically located exploration concession applications – the Tule and Tecelote Concessions – covering 22,625 hectares.
Both concessions target interpreted extensions of the lithium-bearing clays that extend from the Sonora Lithium Project (‘the Sonora Project’), a JV between Bacanora Minerals Ltd and Rare Earth Minerals. One of the Electra Project concessions adjoins the Sonora Project to the north and the other that project’s southern end (see Figure 1). The Sonora JV partners have signed a conditional long-term agreement with Tesla Motors, Inc., which produces electric vehicles and energy storage solutions and is currently constructing a giant battery gigafactory in the Nevada desert.
With the Electra Project, LIT and Alix hope to provide a superior processing alternative to enhance the value of lithium clay deposits.
The Tule concession – 18,125 hectares, measuring approximately 15 kilometres east-west by 12 kilometres north-south – covers the extension of three lithium-bearing horizons identified in Bacanora’s adjacent Sonora project area (shaded blue in Figure 1).
The mineralized trend at Sonora is interpreted as extending approximately 15 kilometres SSE from the La Ventana lithium deposit to the location of another lithium prospect, and at least an additional 12 kilometres from that point towards the Electra Project’s Tule concession.
Electra’s Tecolote Concession, sited north of the village of Huasabas and north of Sonora’s Buenavista Concession, covers around 4,500 hectares. Intercepts from 11 of the 24 reverse-circulation holes drilled at the Buenavista Concession returned values in excess of 1,018 ppm Li and as high as 2,210 ppm Li (equivalent to 0.54% and 1.18% LCE, respectively) in a lithium-rich stratigraphic trend interpreted by Bacanora to extend north, through Electra’s Tecolote Concession, which covers approximately 7 kilometres of that interpreted stratigraphic trend.
The lithium-bearing clays crop out of a volcano-sedimentary sequence located near the towns of Bacadehuachi and Huasabas. It would appear that the clay zones were created by the weathering and breakdown of micas and then overlain by basaltic lavas.
One of the significant advantages of the Electra Project is the clay nature of the mineralisation, which LIT believes will be ideally suited to hydrometallurgical techniques.