LPI restarts Greenbushes lithium exploration as market resurrects

Lithium Power International (LPI) is set to restart its lithium exploration in Western Australia, with a focus on the Greenbushes project in the state’s South West region.

The exploration zone is adjacent to the world’s highest grade spodumene lithium mine, the Greenbushes mine, owned and operated by major producers Albemarle Corporation and Tianqi Lithium.

LPI’s exploration was largely suspended last year due to COVID-19 related restrictions and low lithium prices.

The company is now confident that the time is ripe to reactivate the project, thanks to an improved demand for lithium.

“We are now seeing substantial improvement in current and forecast demand for lithium, with prices forecast to increase during 2021 and beyond,” LPI stated. “LPI is, therefore, recommencing exploration in Western Australia.

“As a reminder of the pedigree of the world class Greenbushes lithium mine, we note the announcement by IGO regarding a $US1.4 billion ($1.79 billion) acquisition of a 24.9 per cent indirect interest from Tianqi at the adjacent Greenbushes mine.”

LPI stated the acquisition was a major highlight of the scale of the Greenbushes mine and surrounding tenements and the attractiveness of Western Australia’s projects to the global battery metals market.

“Lithium demand is accelerating as countries set time frames to phase out internal combustion engines in favour of electric vehicles,” LPI stated.

“Impetus is also being provided by the increasing usage of lithium batteries as grid electricity storage becomes an integral part of renewable energy systems.”

LPI’s Greenbushes tenements extend over 398 square kilometres of the south-west of Western Australia, with the northern tenement (Balingup) covering 315 square kilometres directly across Albermarle and Tianqi’s Greenbushes mining block.

The southern tenement (Brockman) covers the remaining 83 square kilometres, which is further south along a continuation of the Greenbushes mine stratigraphy.

Both tenements have an approved program of works from last year and environmental management plans for activities in state forest areas.

They are within vicinity of international port facilities and close to an experienced mining workforce.

It is also on the doorstep of existing electricity infrastructure, paved roads and water supplies.

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