Lake Resources NL  Half Year Accounts

Brisbane, Australia – Lake Resources NL is a clean lithium developer utilising direct extraction technology for the development of sustainable, high purity lithium from its flagship Kachi Project, as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects are in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, where 40% of the world’s lithium is produced at the lowest cost. This method will enable Lake to …

Brisbane, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) is a clean lithium developer utilising direct extraction technology for the development of sustainable, high purity lithium from its flagship Kachi Project, as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects are in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, where 40% of the world’s lithium is produced at the lowest cost.

This method will enable Lake to be an efficient, responsibly sourced, environmentally friendly and cost competitive supplier of high-purity lithium, a product in demand from Tier 1 electric vehicle makers and battery makers.

To view the half year report, please visit:
https://abnnewswire.net/lnk/R6K56ZDB

About Lake Resources NL:

Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) is a clean lithium developer utilising clean, direct extraction technology for the development of sustainable, high purity lithium from its flagship Kachi Project, as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects are in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, where 40% of the world’s lithium is produced at the lowest cost.

This method will enable Lake Resources to be an efficient, responsibly-sourced, environmentally friendly and cost competitive supplier of high-purity lithium, which is readily scalable, and in demand from Tier 1 electric vehicle makers and battery makers.

Source:
Lake Resources NL

Contact:
Steve Promnitz
Managing Director
+61 2 9188 7864
steve@lakeresources.com.au

Anthony Fensom
Republic PR
+61 (0) 407 112 623
anthony@republicpr.com.au

Henry Jordan
Six Degrees Investor Relations
+61 (0) 431 271 538

News Provided by ABN Newswire via QuoteMedia

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Featured

Clean High Purity Lithium Using Direct Extraction in the Lithium Triangle

This Lake Resources profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*

Overview

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE,OTCQB:LLKKF) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on producing high-purity sustainable lithium at a low-cost from its three wholly-owned lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects lie within one of the largest wholly-owned land packages amongst the largest players within the Lithium Triangle, which is home to 40 percent of the world's lithium supply.

Lake Resources is primarily advancing its wholly owned Kachi lithium project which is approximately 100 kilometers south of FMC Lithium's (NYSE:LTHM) Hombre Muerto lithium brine production site. The property hosts a 2018 mineral resource estimate of 4.4 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent. The report outlines an indicated resource of 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and an inferred resource of 3.4 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent.

In May 2020 Lake Resources released a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its Kachi lithium project, including a video webinar recording detailing the results. The PFS includes an annual production target of approximately 25,500 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate using Lilac Solutions' direct lithium extraction technology. The study was based on Kachi's indicated resource of 1.01 million tonnes LCE at 290 mg/L lithium. The study projects an operating cost of US$4,178 per tonne, totaling approximately US$544 million in total capital expenses.

Lake Resources has partnered with Lilac Solutions Inc. to build a direct extraction pilot plant at the Kachi project. Lilac Solutions has developed a proprietary ion-exchange technology for the extraction of lithium from brine resources that can achieve high recoveries, minimal costs, rapid processing times and provide numerous environmental benefits. Together with its technology partner Lilac Solutions, Lake Resources has begun producing samples of lithium chloride from its direct lithium extraction pilot plant module. According to a July 2020 release, the samples taken from the pilot plant have consistently returned high concentrations of lithium chloride.

Moving forward, Lake Resources has appointed Hazen Research Inc (Hazen), a Colorado-based independent assay laboratory, to produce larger samples of its battery-quality lithium carbonate. Through its partnership with Hazen, Lake Resources intends to offer its product to potential off-takers and other interested parties. In addition to its partnerships with Hazen and Lilac, Lake Resources has appointed Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, a Nova Scotia-based independent testing and development laboratory, to create lithium battery test cells using Lake's lithium carbonate.

The Cauchari and Olaroz lithium brine projects are adjacent to one another and are surrounded by major players such as Lithium Americas Corp. (TSXV:LAC), SQM (NYSE:SQM), Ganfeng Lithium and Advantage Lithium Corp. (TSXV:AAL). Lake Resources is currently drilling on the Cauchari project and plans to commence drilling at Olaroz once finished at Cauchari. Drilling at Cauchari has so far returned values up to 540 mg/L lithium on the project. Lake Resources hopes to prove that both projects are extensions of the neighboring projects in the area.

Lake Resources' Company Highlights

  • Three wholly-owned projects in stable mining jurisdictions in Argentina.
  • Projects are near major lithium brine properties operated by Livent (FMC Lithium), Lithium Americas, SQM, Ganfeng Lithium and Orocobre / Advantage Lithium.
  • Kachi property has a mineral resource estimate of 4.4 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent.
  • May 2020 PFS on Kachi projects 25,500 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate at US$4,178 per tonne for a total cost of US$544 million — click here for the webinar recording
  • SD Capital Advisory Limited has been retained to secure up to US$25 million to finance Kachi's development.
  • In talks with downstream battery partners for the development of Kachi.
  • Partnership in place with Lilac Solutions for direct brine extraction pilot plant.
  • Working with Hazen Research to produce large samples of its battery-quality lithium carbonate
  • Development laboratory Novonix Battery Technology Solutions appointed to produce lithium-ion battery test cells using Lake Resources' lithium carbonate
  • Cauchari and Olaroz are thought to be extensions of neighboring resources.
  • Drilling at Cauchari proved same brines, similar grades as lithium Americas Cauchari.
  • Lake Resources is the only junior with proven lithium brines in Cauchari area.
  • Values of up to 540 mg/L lithium have been intersected at Cauchari to date.

Lake Resources' Kachi Lithium Brine Project

Lake Resources' wholly-owned Kachi lithium brine project encompasses 36 mining leases that cover 69,000 hectares in Catamarca province, Argentina. The property is approximately 100 kilometers south of FMC Lithium's Hombre Muerto lithium brine production site. The Kachi property also covers a 20-kilometer by a 15-kilometer salt lake.

2018 resource estimate

In November 2018, Lake Resources released its maiden resource for the Kachi project. The report outlined a resource estimate of 4.4 million tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent. The report included an indicated resource of 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and an inferred resource of 3.4 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent.

“We are very pleased to report such a significant maiden JORC mineral resource estimate for Kachi. The team advanced drilling within 12 months on an undrilled project and defined a large resource and located a project that stands alongside the largest lithium projects in Argentina," said Lake Resources Managing Director Stephen Promnitz. “We will expand the resource with more drilling and move into a pre-feasibility study using conventional and a direct extraction technology from Lilac Solutions which indicate high recoveries, low costs and a reduced time to production of lithium."

Exploration

In 2017, Lake Resources completed a sampling and drill program at Kachi as well as a geophysical survey. The company collected 40 surface samples along the border of the salt lake that returned values up to 322 mg/L lithium and 209 mg/L lithium. The geophysical survey outlined a large, deep basin with brines between 400 meters to 800 meters deep. There is the potential to expand the brines at depth and to the south and west.

Drilling resulted in the discovery of a large, deep lithium brine-bearing basin that is similar in size to producing lithium projects across the globe. Highlights from the program include 308 mg/L lithium and 60 meters grading 326 mg/L lithium. The results also contained low impurities and magnesium content. Six of the seven holes completed remain open at depth.

Lake Resources Kachi lithium project

Direct extraction pilot plant

In September 2018, Lake Resources partnered with Lilac Solutions to further the development of the Kachi project. Lilac Solutions has developed a proprietary ion-exchange technology for the extraction of lithium from brine resources.

The technology can achieve high recoveries with minimal costs and has rapid processing times when compared to using evaporation ponds. It also provides numerous environmental benefits as it eliminates the need for evaporation ponds and decreases the footprint of the operation. The technology also allows for the remaining brine to be re-injected into the aquifer.

Lake Resources' direct lithium extraction processes

“Lake Resources is delighted to be partnering with Lilac on a rapid, direct extraction process of lithium from brines. We have reviewed a number of technologies, and we consider Lilac to offer a compelling opportunity to be reviewed in tandem with conventional methods as part of a pre-feasibility study," said Promnitz. “The potential to reduce the timeline to production at low-cost is a major advantage in the current market with a constrained supply of lithium. Increased recoveries indicate that 300 mg/L lithium brine would produce similar volumes of final product as 600 mg/L lithium brine."

Lilac and Lake Resources plan to build a pilot plant at Kachi to demonstrate the viability of the technology. Lake Resources expects to be able to increase its lithium grade to 25,000 mg/L lithium and to produce a clean lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate product for the battery market. Lake Resources is targeting pre-production at Kachi in early 2020 at the pilot plant.

To aid in the development of the pilot plant and PFS, Lake Resources has appointed SD Capital Advisory Limited to secure up to US$25 million to finance the project's development.

2020 Prefeasibility Study

In May 2020 Lake Resources released a PFS on the Kachi property with a target of producing 25,500 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) using Lilac's direct extraction technology at an operating cost of US$4,178 per tonne. The study was based on an indicated resource of 1.01 million tonnes LCE at 290 mg/L lithium. “The PFS highlights the cost competitive nature and scale of the flagship Kachi project using direct extraction, but has the benefit of producing high-purity product capable of attracting premium pricing, while being a leader in sustainable lithium desired by Tier-1 electric vehicle makers," said Managing Director Steve Promnitz.

The company is also in discussions with various downstream partners in the battery industry to secure future offtake agreements and additional funding for the project's development.

Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium Brine Projects

The Cauchari and Olaroz lithium brine projects are adjacent to one another and surrounded by significant players in Jujuy province in Argentina. The projects are adjacent to the Orocobre's Olaroz lithium brine operations and projects under development by Lithium Americas, SQM, Ganfeng Lithium and Advantage Lithium Corp.

Lakes Resources' Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium Brine Project

Exploration

Lake Resources began drilling on the Cauchari project, which has never been drilled before, in April 2019. The company encountered conductive lithium brines with values up to 480 mg/L lithium at depths of approximately 186 meters at Cauchari. The results compared favorably with the results from nearby pre-production areas that are currently under development.

In August 2019, Lake Resources announced its final results which included a significant high-grade lithium discovery at Cauchari. Higher grades averaging 493 mg/L lithium over 343 meters were recovered and the highest result returned 540 mg/L lithium.

Drill plans are currently in the works for Olaroz, which has not been drilled before either. Lake Resources hopes to prove that both projects are extensions of the other projects in the area and is targeting the same aquifers as its neighbors.

Lakes Resources' Cauchari-Olaroz Lithium Brine Project

Additional Properties

Catamarca

The 72,000-hectare Catamarca pegmatite project is located in Ancasti, Catamarca Province and is 50 kilometers east of the city Catamarca. The project is accessible year-round. The area has hosted historical small-scale production for lithium-bearing spodumene pegmatites over a 150-kilometer area. Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) holds mining leases adjacent to the property and has received results of 4.9 percent lithium oxide and 7.1 percent lithium oxide from old mine workings.

Paso

The 29,000-hectare Paso lithium brine project is located in Jujuy Province in Argentina. The province is adjacent to the border of Chile and is immediately west of Orocobre's Olaroz lithium brine operations. Lake Resources' initial sampling program returned elevated results. The company has applied for the requisite drilling and exploration permits to continue its exploration on the property.

Lake Resources' Management Team

Stephen Promnitz — Managing Director

Stephen Promnitz has considerable technical and commercial experience in Argentina. He is a geologist fluent in Spanish and has a history of exploring, funding and developing projects. He has previously been CEO and second in charge of mid-tier listed mineral explorers and producers (Kingsgate Consolidated, Indochine Mining), in corporate finance roles with investment banks (Citi, Westpac) and has held technical, corporate and management roles with major mining companies (Rio Tinto/CRA, Western Mining).

Stuart Crow — Chairman and Non-Executive Director

Stuart Crow has global experience in financial services, corporate finance, investor relations, international markets, salary packaging and stockbroking. He is passionate about assisting emerging and listed companies to attract investors and capital. He has owned and operated his own businesses.

Nick Lindsay — Non-Executive Director

Dr. Nick Lindsay has over 25 years of experience in Argentina, Chile and Peru in technical and commercial roles in the resources sector with major and mid-tier companies, as well as start-ups. He has a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Geology, a Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering as well as an MBA. A fluent Spanish speaker, he has successfully taken companies in South America, such as Laguna Resources which he led as Managing Director, from inception to listing, development and subsequent acquisition. Lindsay is currently CEO of Manuka Resources Ltd, an unlisted company, having previously held the position of President – Chilean Operations for Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd and is a member of the AusIMM and AIG.

Dr Robert Trzebski — Non-Executive Director

Dr. Trzebski is currently Chief Operating Officer of Austmine Ltd and holds a degree in Geology, PhD in Geophysics, Masters in Project Management and has over 30 years of professional experience in project management and mining services.

He holds considerable operating and commercial experience in Argentina and Chile, as a Non-Executive Director of Austral Gold since 2007, listed on the ASX and TSX-V and is Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. His role with Austmine has allowed him to develop considerable contacts across the operating and technology space of the global resources industry. Dr. Trzebski is also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and is fluent in Spanish and German as well as English.

Sinead Teague — Company Secretary

Sinead Teague was appointed Company Secretary on July 2, 2019. As a governance and compliance professional, she has over 10 years of company secretarial experience across a range of industries and ASX-listed companies. She is also an associate member of the Governance Institute.

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On 2 March 2021 the Australian Taxation Office issued Rio Tinto Limited with amended assessments related to the denial of interest deductions on an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015. The borrowing was repaid in 2018. The ATO has today issued further assessments in relation to the same transaction levying penalties of A$352m and reducing the original interest assessment from A$47m to A$27m …

On 2 March 2021 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued Rio Tinto Limited with amended assessments related to the denial of interest deductions on an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015. The borrowing was repaid in 2018.

The ATO has today issued further assessments in relation to the same transaction levying penalties of A$352m (US$257.9m) and reducing the original interest assessment from A$47m to A$27m (US$19.8m).

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Ioneer Ltd is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with Sibanye Stillwater Limited to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA . Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer …

Ioneer Ltd (“ioneer" or the “Company") (ASX: INR) is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture (the " Joint Venture “) with Sibanye Stillwater Limited ( “Sibanye-Stillwater" ) to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA (the “Project" ). Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer has also agreed to provide Sibanye-Stillwater with an option to participate in 50% of the North Basin 1 upon the election of Sibanye-Stillwater to contribute up to an additional US$50 million subject to certain terms and conditions.

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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