Source - Alliance News

CleanTech Lithium PLC on Thursday announced an upgraded JORC resource estimate for the Francisco Basin in Chile, the company’s second project.

Shares in CleanTech Lithium were up 6.2% to 55.20 pence each in London on Thursday afternoon.

The Chile-focused sustainable lithium exploration and development company said it upgraded the resource estimate by 74% to 920,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at an average grade of 207 milligrams per litre.

The resource estimate now includes 440,000 tonnes at an average grade of 221 milligrams per litre of lithium in the ’indicated’ category, CleanTech Lithium said.

Although not yet categorised as a reserve, CleanTech Lithium said Francisco Basin is considered ‘sufficient’ for an annual production rate of 20,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate for up to a possible 20-year operation, which will be used in the nearly-completed scoping study.

CleanTech Lithium said the scoping study is expected to reinforce the project’s path to production, capital requirements and will support the company’s engagement with potential strategic partners.

Chief Executive Officer Aldo Boitano said the upgraded JORC resource estimate ‘provides more confidence in the resource potential and further de-risks the project following an extensive work programme this year’.

There ‘remains strong potential for a large increase’ in the resource, Boitano said, with further exploration work planned in the first half of 2024.

‘High flow rates from a pumping test programme completed this season are a major positive. The recorded flow rates exceeded our expectations and this should reduce the number of wells required for production, potentially reducing the associated [capital expenditure],’ said Boitano.

‘We expect the scoping study will confirm the economic potential of this project, alongside our other project Laguna Verde. At both sites we intend to advance our direct lithium extraction process, which removes the need for evaporation ponds, and supply ’green’ lithium to the [electric vehicle] and battery manufacturing industry.’

Last month, CleanTech Lithium upgraded its resource estimate of 1.8 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at a grade of 200 milligrams per litre of lithium at the Laguna Verde project.

This includes a 39% increase in the measured and indicated resource to 1.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, which will be used in its ongoing pre-feasibility study.

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