Drilling on Keliber´s new exploration target in Finland continues with improving results. So far 16 holes, approximately 1,200 meter, have been drilled.
As previously informed a new and possibly significant spodumene pegmatite vein has been identified in northern Kaustinen municipality. The vein continues in northern direction and has so far reached a total length of 300 meter. The figure below shows the position of the drill holes and the planned drilling, and the position of the spodumene vein in green. The vein is cut by a probable fault and the dip varies, but is generally between 40-60° to west. The thickness increase from about 5 meters in the south to about 10 meters in the north as true width. The vein continues to be open in northern direction.
Analytical results of drill cores from the first 13 drill holes in the southern and central parts of the area are shown in the table below. Three drill holes are shown as “empty” since they only intersect lithium poor muscovite pegmatite. Since the vein has no outcrop the orientation of the vein is calculated based on the drilling results.
The analysis has been done by the Finnish laboratory Labtium Oy. The analytical method after crushing and pulverization has been NA-peroxide fusion followed by ICP (Labtium code 720P). Cut-off value of the intercepts is 0.3% Li2O.
The average grade for the first 13 drill holes give an lithium grade of approximately 1.2% Li2O. In comparison, Keliber's Länttä deposit is measured to a length of approximately 400 meter with true width of the two main spodumene pegmatite veins varying from 5 to 10 meters and an average lithium grade of 1.0% Li2O. The picture below shows spodumene pegmatite from drillhole 12.
In 2010/2011, two independent experts from Outotec Oyj, Markku Meriläinen and Pekka Lovén (both of them are Competent Person according to the JORC code) have assessed the Länttä and Outovesi lithium deposits and presented mineral resource and ore reserve estimates for the deposits. The report, which is not a comprehensive minerals expert report, but intended to be a part/input to a pre-feasibility study for Keliber, was presented in December 2011.
Drilling will continue in northern direction to investigate further extension of the vein. The drilling program on this particular target is scheduled to be finished mid-December. The last analytical results can be expected mid-January 2011 and a preliminary resource estimate on the target will be scheduled late January 2011.
As from mid-December, Keliber's drilling program will continue in other targeted areas in the Ostrobothnia lithium province. The purpose is to identify additional resources for Keliber's contemplated lithium production.
Stripping of Länttä spodumene ore
In order to achieve visual contact and impression of the spodumene ore body, stripping of part the ore body has been done at Länttä.
As can be seen from the pictures, the spodumene pegmatite veins stand out clearly from surrounding rock. Ore samples have been cut out for further analysis. Further stripping will be done at other parts of the ore body for extended impression of the ore body and mineralogical analysis.
InnoFinland's prize for Central Ostrobothnia for 2009
Represented by its GM Olle Sirén, Keliber Oy was recently awarded InnoFinland's prize for Central Ostrobothnia for 2009. The prize was awarded for the development of an environmentally friendly and energy efficient production method for lithium carbonate with use of biogas made from biological waste.
Keliber's production method is in many ways unique. Biogas from waste is used both as energy and raw material in a continous production process for lithium carbonate. The processing method has been developed in close cooperation with various technological partners i.a. the international minerals processing and metallurgical technologies company Outotec Oyj. Keliber’s proven and fully tested concept has processing perspectives beyond a crystallised carbonate product consistently high in lithium (>99.9 per cent). Keliber and Nordic Mining have started to investigate on the potential for downstream processing of lithium-based chemicals as a direct or indirect continuance of the processing route.
"The prize award is an acknowledgement of Keliber's production process and a solid statement that lithium production with use of biogas from waste has environmental advantages which we also expect will be highly awarded by customers in the coming years," says Keliber's GM Olle Sirén.
The other persons on the picture are (on Mr. Siréns left side) Mr. Kalevi Hakala, chairman of Ostrobothnia product development and innovation society, and (on the right side) Mr. Vesa Kojola, departement manager at the National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES).
Photo by photographer Juha Sallinen of the Finnish newspaper Keskipohjanmaa.
Lithium carbonate in Finland
The global demand for lithium carbonate is expected to grow substantially in the coming years, mainly driven by strong growth in the battery sector as a consequence of increased sales of electrified and hybrid cars, portable tools and batteries to other industrial applications. The battery segment is now representing approximately one fourth of the global use of lithium carbonate. Lithium, in combination with other minerals, brings unique properties to modern batteries.
Nordic Mining is exploring various development scenarios for the lithium project, and have received an offer for a bankable feasibility study with the purpose to establish a complete project documentation for financing and possible joint venture assessment. In connection with this, a limited drilling program in order to increase the estimated mineral resources at Keliber’s main deposit at Länttä is evaluated.