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Western Lithium significantly upgrades its Kings Valley Lithium resource in Nevada

Western Lithium USA Corporation has announced that its 2010 and 2011 drill program has resulted in a significant increase to the project’s resource size. The resource for Stage I is now defined by approximately 200 drill holes that have all intersected lithium bearing clays. The company expects that the new resource will provide for increased feedstock grade to the proposed lithium carbonate process plant.

In addition, the company is advancing permitting activities for the Kings Valley Project. Recently, the necessary permits were received to bulk sample 100 tonnes of clay which will be used to feed a demonstration plant planned for later this year.

The technical team is continuing baseline environmental studies, including wildlife, vegetation, ground water and air quality.

The drilling program completed earlier this year indicates sufficient lithium resources to potentially increase the mining grade used in the 2010 Preliminary Assessment and Economic Evaluation (PAEE), which demonstrated strong economics. At an expected average cut-off grade of 0.35% lithium, the upgraded measured and indicated resource for Stage I now totals 37.3 million tonnes with an average grade of 0.40% lithium. At this higher cut-off, total measured and indicated tonnes have the potential for a 25+ year mine life. The company is now optimizing mine scheduling to determine higher grade feed for the start-up years of production.

Kings Valley Stage I measured and indicated resources at 0.35% lithium cut-off
as of 28 June 2011
CategoryTonnes (thousands)Lithium (%)Lithium oxide (%)LCE (Li carbonate equivalent) (tonnes)
Measured 13,100 0.420 0.90 293,000
Indicated 24,200 0.395 0.85 508,000
Total 37,300 0.404 0.87 801,000
Inferred 24,200 0.386 0.83 498,000

Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is the actual lithium compound used to make Li-ion battery cathode materials. A 2010 paper by Meridian Research suggested that for realistic strategic planning purposes, automobile manufacturers should model the material requirement at 2 kg to 3 kg of technical grade lithium carbonate per nominal kWh of PHEV battery capacity. A 16 kWh Volt-type pack, then, would represent some 32 to 48 kg of lithium carbonate; the 801,000 tonnes of LCE would thus conceptually represent (very broadly) 16.7 to 25 million Volt-type packs (depending upon the loading).

Western Lithium plans a demonstration plant for the end of 2011. It will commence bulk sampling of approximately 100 tonnes of lithium ore starting in mid-July at the Kings Valley site. Alternatives are being considered for the size and location of the demonstration plant with a decision expected during the summer.

The resource estimate was calculated by Timothy J. Carew, P. Geo., Principal, Reserva International LLC, an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Timothy Carew is the Qualified Person that has approved the scientific and technical data in this news release and has verified the data relevant to such disclosure in the course of preparation of the resource estimate.

(A hat-tip to Antony!)



That paper from Meridian Research was authored by William Tahil. In my book, this guy has zero credibility. (He is the progenitor of the "Peak Lithium" hysteria rampant in the press a few years back. I won't even get into his 9/11 theories.}

The figure of "2 kg to 3 kg of technical grade lithium carbonate per nominal kWh" sounds rather high. It would be nice to have a more accurate figure from a manufacturer of a specific chemistry, since different formulations need widely varying amounts.

I might also add that as battery tech progresses and energy density increases, the amount of lithium per kWh ought to decrease over time.


Tahil is trying to flog zinc batteries. His credibility in assessing lithium technologies is on a par with Petersen, who is busy trying to flog Axion and lead-carbon batteries, ie non-existent.
In fact for lithium use:
'As a general rule in the production of lithium-ion batteries; 600 grams ("g") of LCE is required for each Kilowatt Hour ("kWh") of battery storage. With production cost for LCE being as high as US$6,600 (spodumene production costs) per tonne US$4 of LCE is required for every 1 kWh of battery (which would exclude the manufacturing costs of the battery). Meaning for a 1kWh battery pack (using the standard 18,650 cells contained in a 1 kWh battery pack) the cost would be US$400. Industry experts suggest that even doubling the cost of lithium would do little to change demand and with auto companies desire to meet performance expectations, most would use more lithium in each battery produced, despite the increased cost.'

The resource is enough for around 100 million battery cars, give or take.


So much for the would be Marxists in Bolivia who are trying to become "Lithium Commissars" just like Chavez and Putin, in Venezuela and Russia.


Demand for lithium should increase over the years, so countries that can produce probably will. I am not sure anyone is going to corner the market.


The Rockefellers of America? There are 3,000+ in China?



ED, lithium, like oil, is a fungible commodity. It will be bought from who ever can produce it the cheapest. If the Marxists in Bolivia can do that they WILL become "Lithium Commissars."


In a socialist country that could nationalize it in a blink, they may have some trouble attracting capital.


True, but they'd have little trouble rising a near-slave labor force and we've seen how easy it is for Capitalists to ignore human right issues when it's out of sight of the nightly news.

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