Piedmont Lithium’s (ASX: PLL) target of supplying significant amounts of lithium to electric vehicle powerhouse Tesla in the US has received a major boost with investment vehicle Atlantic Lithium (ASX: A11) reporting new high-grade results from its Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana.
Piedmont Lithium has agreed to invest $159 million in Atlantic and its bid to become Ghana’s first lithium-producing mine.
In return Piedmont will gain access to spodumene, or high-purity lithium ore from Ewoyaa.
Continuing to grow Already containing a 35.3 million tonnes at 1.25 lithium oxide mineral resource estimate (MRE) and ore reserves of 25.6 million tonnes at 1.22% lithium oxide, Ewoyaa continues to grow with positive results received from 5,444m of infill and exploration reverse circulation (RC) drilling completed at Ewoyaa as part of a larger 18,500m 2023 drilling programme.
The newly received assay results have focused on infill drilling at Ewoyaa South-2 and have extended mineralisation to depth at the Ewoyaa North-East deposit, outside of the current resource.
Mineralisation remains open Atlantic executive chairman, Neil Herbert, said mineralisation remains open in a number of directions and the company is looking to convert the current inferred resources numbers to higher confidence indicated resources at the Ewoyaa South- 2 deposit for future mine sequencing optionality and to further grow the MRE.
He said the ongoing drilling assay results across the Ewoyaa lithium project have returned high-grade infill and extension intersections, including some significant apparent widths and grades from relatively shallow depths.
“Results are from the Ewoyaa South-2 deposit, where we are infill drilling to convert inferred to indicated resources to provide optionality for future mine scheduling, and from the Ewoyaa North-East deposit, where mineralisation has been confirmed outside of the current resource envelope and at depth.”
“A total of 18,500m of infill, extensional and exploration RC drilling has been planned for 2023. These programmes are intended to grow and improve the confidence of the Ewoyaa resource, in turn, improving the economics of the project.”
Seismic survey brought to a halt It was not all good news. Atlantic has elected to demobilise its equipment following the completion of a passive seismic survey over the central portion of the Ewoyaa resource area.
Mr Herbert said that rather than extending the survey it had called a halt after running into various limitations, with not all known pegmatites identified by the survey.
“Whilst a 10m mineralised pegmatite was intersected in drilling from one of the targets, this was the extension of a known pegmatite where mineralisation remains open at depth,” he said.
“The survey has enhanced our knowledge of the Ewoyaa deposits and provided valuable learnings for potential future use of the technology across the company’s portfolio or new opportunities at a later date.”
“However, at this stage, we see greater value in deploying capital towards the systematic drilling programmes that have been proven to deliver significant value to the company to date. This will comprise further drilling for resource growth within the immediate project area, whilst continuing to grow the exploration pipeline within the broader portfolio using soil sampling, geophysics and auger drilling ahead of RC drill testing.”
In June 2023, the company announced a definitive feasibility study for Ewoyaa, confirming the project’s economic viability and profitability potential.
The study indicated 3.6 million tonnes of spodumene concentrate production over a 12-year life of mine, generating exceptional economics.