International Lithium landmarks core resources through major partnerships
Early stage exploration projects have a lot to prove, and there are numerous routes to securing adequate investment. Some succeed by funding the best refinement tech, others will bank on rumours of exceptional product-grades, and, very rarely, even management will be the clincher. The most successful companies, however, will secure competitive advantages in multiple strategic directions. While others begin to struggle in increasing competition, International Lithium Corp. (TSXV: ILC) (“International Lithium”) have begun to make landmark, if initial, progress on their core resources in collaboration with major international partners.
Having placed bets on a variety of lithium stashes in key locations, International Lithium quickly attracted the attention of Ganfeng, the Chinese manufacturer of a myriad of lithium-based products spanning almost every scientific industry; in the run-up to Tesla’s increasing capacity, they are already taking good care of a select few juniors, and last year increased their stake in International Lithium to 18.1% precisely to advance their particular catalogue.
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The last time we talked about International Lithium, they were powering through the Mavis Lake drill program in the middle of the Canadian winter with project partner Pioneer Resources, the results of which will be important for a couple of reasons; these particular pegmatite projects are promising due to their geology, having some of the widest dispersion halo formations in the world, so confirmation of unusual lithium density would be great news. Additionally, the company is clearly mulling over exactly where to focus its energies, and preliminary resource calculations will be what collapses the probability cloud into a decision.
Elsewhere, the principal resource estimate for International Lithium’s Mariana brine project has already been produced in partnership with Ganfeng, providing the first look into the joint-venture’s capacity. The Mariana project is part of the renowned lithium-triangle spanning a national tri-point in South America. The 160km² salt lake is the duo’s primary focus, and preliminary results from the briny-depths have been incredibly promising. The area marked as “Resource Area 1” is estimated to contain 747,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), gaining Mariana some serious brownie points.
The area known as the “lithium triangle” is home to half of the world’s reserves, and results such as these are hardly surprising; when the whole picture becomes clearer, there will almost certainly be shipment, it just seems to be a question of wherefrom. In addition to Argentina and Canada, International Lithium is saving the Irish Avalonia project until last, but with such a smooth run so far, it wouldn’t be a major shock to find that the extensive 50km-long pegmatite belt that is the Avalonia project, 55% owned by Ganfeng, just turned out to be full of millions of pieces neatly wrapped gold bullion.
With the increasing demand for high tech rechargeable batteries used in vehicle propulsion technologies and portable electronics, lithium is guaranteed to be in demand in tomorrow’s sustainable economy. By positioning itself with solid strategic partners and acquiring high quality assets for the energy revolution supply chain, International Lithium aims to be the partner of choice for investors in green-tech, to continue to add value for shareholders and build confidence in the market.
The cleantech world gets busier and cattier every day; clear strategies are becoming apparent to produce buckets of Terra at a commercial standard, and solid progress is being made on projects in which International Lithium is involved.
Lara has been an analyst for over ten years, starting her career as an equity analyst at Foord Asset Management and more recently as the ... <Read more about Lara Smith>