Lithium miner lodges KI exploration application

Perth-based company Lithium Australia has lodged a second application  to explore for lithium in the old Dudley mines on eastern Kangaroo Island.
Perth-based company Lithium Australia has lodged a second application to explore for lithium in the old Dudley mines on eastern Kangaroo Island.

Perth-based company Lithium Australia has lodged an application to explore for lithium in vicinity of the old Dudley mines on eastern Kangaroo Island.

This exploration would cover an area of 27 square kilometres, the same area the company initially applied for back in February 2017.

Lithium Australia stated previously that it believed pegmatite rock in the Dudley mines area was an indicator that lithium may be present.

The Dudley Mine area was last worked in the early 1900s for gem tourmaline, ceramic-grade feldspar, silica and kaolin for brickmaking.

A spokesman for Lithium Australia confirmed the company had applied for a single exploration licence, and the public notice that appeared in The Islander this month was the application working its way through the approvals system.

The company would not elaborate on what the exploration would entail until applications had been granted, but it has been previously reported that the company would be taking samples, whether through or drilling or other means.

Any actual mining would likely be open cut with a processing plant to crush, grind and float rock to extract a lithium concentrate. These concentrates are shipped to China, the only place that processes hard rock through to lithium chemicals.

Lithium’s principal uses are in batteries for mobile phones, laptops and tablets along with storage of power for renewable energy and for electric motor vehicles, the demand for which is increasing enormously.

Lithium Australia meanwhile this week issued a statement calling on the Federal Government Federal Government not cut rebates on research and development.

Lithium Australia is the only company to produce locally, new-era battery cathode materials for customer tests globally and it says proposed Federal Government changes to research and development (R&D) funding slated in its latest Budget could derail a new-era global battery market.

Managing director Adrian Griffin said WA's aspirations to establish something similar to Silicon Valley – a Lithium Valley for the battery industry – were likely to be stymied by Federal Government moves that “limit R&D funding for bold industry initiatives”.

“Australia's lithium industry risks being consigned to international backwaters if such an opportunity to become a global front-runner in the emerging battery technology race, is allowed to slip,” Mr Griffin said.

Click here for more on the Lithium Australia mining company

The only other current, active mining activity on Kangaroo Island involves mining company Auroch Minerals plans to drill 10 to 15 exploration holes in the vicinity of the old Kohinoor gold mine and Grainger zinc mine sites.

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