Liontown Resources Limited (ASX: LTR) has created a 119% increase in the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its 100%-owned Kathleen Valley Lithium Project, located 670km north-east of Perth in Western Australia
Managing Director, David Richards, said this is the third successive MRE increase since the maiden Mineral Resource was published in September 2018, clearly establishes Kathleen Valley as one of Australia’s premier lithium deposits.
Mr Richards said the latest MRE will provide the basis for an updated PFS due for completion by year-end, with the continued growth in the Kathleen Valley resource reflected both the quality and scale of the deposit and the outstanding success of the company’s drilling programmes.
This latest resource update clearly establishes Kathleen Valley as one of the world’s premier hard rock lithium deposits, with clear potential to underpin a long-life mining operation,” he said.
“The potential combination of open pit and underground mining to unlock the full value of the resource will be evaluated as part of the updated PFS, which will also incorporate metallurgical test work and other technical studies designed to optimise the project development strategy.”
Liontown is investigating both open pit and underground mining methods and the Company has selected a cut-off grade of 0.55% Li2O for resource reporting, which strikes a balance between the potential open pit and underground expected cut-off grades.
Mr Richards said the updated MRE represents an increase of 108% in tonnes and 119% in contained lithium compared with the Mineral Resource announced in July 2019 which formed the basis of a PFS that was completed in December 2019. The updated MRE comprises 2.1Mt of contained lithium oxide and 44Mlbs of contained tantalite.
In light of external challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic together with the potential improvements and enhancements to the Project, Liontown has decided to postpone the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and will instead produce an upgraded PFS that incorporates the Project’s updated MRE.
The upgraded PFS (+25% accuracy) will provide a solid and improved basis for a DFS (+15% accuracy), which is now planned to commence in 2021.
The deposit is located in a well-established mining region and in close proximity to existing transport, power and camp infrastructure. It is considered that the classified portion of the deposit has reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.