- Liontown Resources (LTR) has significantly increased the mineral resource estimate at its Kathleen Valley Project to 156 million tonnes at 1.4 per cent lithium dioxide
- The updated mineral resource represents an increase of 108 per cent in tonnes and 119 per cent in contained lithium
- It also represents a 636 per cent increase in tonnes and contained lithium from the first mineral resource estimate released in 2018
- Liontown is now planning an upgraded pre-feasibility study to highlight the combination of open pit and underground mining, as well as the future of the Kathleen Valley Project
- Despite the positive news, Liontown is down 8.33 per cent and shares are trading for 11 cents each
Liontown Resources (LTR) has substantially increased the mineral resource estimate at its Kathleen Valley Lithium-Tantalum Project in Western Australia.
The updated measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource, which was prepared by independent specialist resource and mining consulting group Optiro, now comprises 156 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.4 per cent lithium dioxide and 130 parts per million tantalum pentoxide.
The updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) represents an increase of 108 per cent in tonnes and 119 per cent in contained lithium compared with the mineral resource of 74.9 million tonnes at 1.3 per cent lithium oxide and 130 parts per million tantalum pentoxide that was announced in July 2019.
The 2019 MRE formed the basis of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) that was completed in December of that year.
The updated MRE comprises 2.1 million tonnes of contained lithium oxide, or 5.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), and 44 million pounds of contained tantalite.
It also represents a 636 per cent increase in tonnes and contained lithium from the maiden MRE of 21.2 million tonnes at 1.4 per cent lithium dioxide and 166 parts per million tantalum pentoxide released in September 2018.
“This latest resource update clearly establishes Kathleen Valley as one of the world’s premier hard rock lithium deposits, with clear potential to underpin a long-life mining operation,” Managing Director David Richards said.
“The potential combination of open pit and underground mining to unlock the full value of the resource will be evaluated as part of the updated PFS, which will also incorporate metallurgical test work and other technical studies designed to optimise the project development strategy,” David added.
The PFS highlighted the potential to improve the financial metrics of the Kathleen Valley Project, including accelerating the expansion of high-grade mineralisation.
Liontown is currently investigating both open pit and underground mining methods and has selected a cut-off grade of 0.55 per cent lithium dioxide for resource reporting.
Given the definition of significant high-grade mineralisation of over 1.5 per cent lithium dioxide at depth, Liontown is investigating the possible underground extraction of portions of the resource that may enable higher grade ore to be fed to the planned processing plant. This may cause improved recoveries and product quality.
As a result of COVID-19 and potential improvements and enhancements to the project, Liontown has decided to postpone its Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and will instead produce an upgraded PFS that incorporates Kathleen Valley’s updated MRE.
Despite the positive news, Liontown is down 8.33 per cent and shares are trading for 11 cents each at 10:07 am AEST.