Canadian Mining Journal


Western Lithium sees opportunity in battery boom

VANCOUVER — Management of Western Lithium (TSX: WLC; US-OTC: WLCDF) finds itself in a fortuitous position following the recent surge of interest in the global lithium industry. The company negotiated a merger with South American focused Lithium Americas in mid-2015, and is now sitting on two advanced stage projects that appear well positioned to address an emerging deficit in lithium carbonate and hydroxide markets.

Western Lithium is advancing the Kings Valley clay hosted lithium deposit in Nevada’s Clayton Valley. The area hosts North America’s only producing lithium operation – Albemarle’s (NYSE: ALB) Silver Peak brine facility – and has subsequently emerged as a hot spot for speculators due to a US$5-billion “gigafactory” Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is building outside of Reno.

Based on a March 2014 prefeasibility study (PFS), Kings Valley hosts 27 million proven and probable tonnes grading 0.4% Li, 3.9% K and 1.4% Na. The development would advance in two stages, with an initial build costing US$248 million, and a second phase costing US$161 million. The plan would carry a 24% after tax net present value (NPV) at an 8% discount rate, along with a 20% internal rate of return (IRR).

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