One World Minerals enters second phase exploration at Rico Lithium property
The Rico Litio lithium property, One World Minerals Inc’s flagship property, located in the State of California Baja Norte, Mexico, has entered phase two of an exploration program.
Logistical preparations are underway with field crews on the property within three weeks and concluding with a 4000 metre (13,000 foot) drill program to be completed by the end of June 2017.
The second phase program will consist of 80 kilometres (50 miles) of surveyed grid lines in the northern portion of the property in preparation to complete a time domain electromagnetic survey.
This survey will help to identify sediment formations with good permeability and porosity that may contain lithium brines. In addition, a gravity survey will be conducted over the same grid lines to identify the depths of the closed basin as well as structural features and young volcanic rocks that may contribute to the formation of the lithium brine. Historically these geophysical surveys have worked extremely well in identifying structural targets in preparation for drilling.
The second phase also includes, a four thousand meter (13,000 feet) drill program to test several of the high priority targets that have coincidental anomalies that may contain brine and traps created by active faults.
A third phase program will include a pump test work program done on sections of the drill holes to test and determine the aquifer capacity; draw down flow rates, and concentrations of Lithium and potassium.
The exploration program will be contracted to Jehcorp Inc., a private company owned by John Hiner who has over 45 years’ mineral exploration experience, including lithium and potassium properties in North and South America.
“We are very pleased to be moving quickly on to the next phase of work on the Rico Litio Lithium Property after such a successful first phase work program,” says Doug Fulher, President and CEO of One World.
“As well we are very fortunate to have a professional such as John Hiner coordinating and overseeing the future development of this project. His experience and knowledge of lithium and lithium projects in the Americas is so important as we further explore and advance the Rico Litio Property,”
“The Company’s significant second phase exploration program that will be underway before the end of March 2017 and continue over the next three months will be highlighted by the drilling of several of the targets before the end of June 2017,” He says.
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British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars
The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change.
It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.
British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad.
Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe
After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company.
“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”
Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector.
Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial.
Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production
“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”
The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction.
Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably.
“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.
“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”
Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK.
“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”
Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.