Private exploration company Strategic Metals Australia (SMA) claims to have discovered a new lithium province in Georgetown, North Queensland.
The deposit is 400 kilometres south-west of Cairns and consists of multiple pegmatites and lithium mica replacement mineralisation of the host rock.
SMA announced the discovery at the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s lithium conference in Perth this week.
Exploration director Bradley Crighton said the discovery was significant for Queensland, but considerable work was required to bring the discovery to production such as drilling, modelling, resource calculation and feasibility studies.
“(The discovery) opens up the potential for Queensland to become a significant miner and processor of Lithium salts for battery manufacture in the state,” he said.
SMA has been in initial discussion with a leading Australian technology provider to license their processing technology, according to the company’s chief executive officer Graham Willett.
“The project would not only produce lithium salts for battery manufacture but also by-products; including the metals tantalum, tin and caesium plus premium grade potash fertiliser for the agricultural industry,” he said.
Lithium is becoming an increasingly popular metal as an ingredient in batteries that are used in electric equipment and in particular, electrical vehicles (EV’s).
The demand for EV’s has been driven by the growing Chinese market who are looking for more sustainable forms of transport to meet tougher environmental regulation.
Currently, Lithium Australia has substantial established ground in North Queensland through its Cape York, Amber and Croyden projects, covering a combined area of almost 5000 square kilometres.