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Chile to Announce Ambitious Lithium Investment Strategy

Chile’s government will reveal its long-awaited national lithium strategy in April, with the goal of attracting significant investment in the second half of the decade. According to Economy Minister Nicolas Grau, the proposed national lithium business is only one component of the idea, and it will require a qualified quorum bill, which may necessitate longer timeframes. 

One of the plan’s goals is to foster decentralization “so that other countries feel there’s space for everyone,” with the metal’s geopolitical importance cited as a major concern. The minister projects a break-even price of about $20,000 per tonne for lithium given current price fluctuations, “but there is a lot of uncertainty.” Despite having one of the largest lithium reserves in the world, only Albemarle Corporation and SQM harvest the metal from Chile.  

Currently, the majority of lithium supply comes from Australia and Chile, but this is changing rapidly as North America aspires for energy independence.

Nevada, which is already one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world, is swiftly establishing itself as a vital participant in the manufacture of EV battery materials and reaching global climate targets.

With the Thacker Pass Lithium Project (currently the largest known lithium deposit in the US) under completion, analysts are beginning to refer to Nevada as the “Silicon Valley of lithium.”

Thacker Pass intends to produce 80,000 tonnes of battery-quality lithium carbonate capacity per year, reducing the United States’ dependency on international lithium supplies.

More crucially, the project’s clearance signals that Nevada’s lithium industry is now open for business.

But there’s more to Nevada’s lithium tale than Thacker Pass and Albemarle’s already-established Silver Peak mine. 

Uncovering High-Grade Lithium in Nevada

Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) has tripled its land position on its Nevada-based Jackpot Lake Lithium project en route to producing a lithium resource, thanks to immense potential and great infrastructure.

Jackpot Lake Lithium Brine Property lies in Clark County, Nevada, about 35 km northeast of Las Vegas. Jackpot Lake’s geology is similar to that of Albemarle’s Silver Peak lithium mine, which has been in operation since 1966 and is the only lithium mine in North America that is currently producing. In both situations, the deposit is filled with silt from the source rocks that are rich in lithium, with the possibility that additional evaporation and concentration events will concentrate the lithium brine.

On April 19, Usha provided an update on its ongoing catalysts for growth and a recap of the company’s progress in 2022. Some of the highlights include a 220% increase in market cap since the beginning of 2022 to just under C$15M today, the upcoming 20% share dividend through the spin-out of the Nicobat Nickel Project, and a strong balance sheet with working capital of $3.1 million. The company also  recently announced the highest drill results to date at its Jackpot Lake lithium brine project and is presently undertaking a fully permitted and funded drill program with the goal of delivering a 43-101 resource estimate. 

The highest lithium grades ever found in drilling and previously reported on the site were found in the JP22-02 drill hole, according to an update by Usha Resources on its ongoing drilling program at Jackpot Lake. With shallow soils in the top 500 feet averaging 334 ppm Li, about four times the historical normal of 175 ppm, and reaching 820 ppm, double the record maximum of 550 ppm. 

These grades are very good when compared to the documented average of 100 ppm for the Esmeralda Formation, one of the potential sources of lithium enrichment in Clayton Valley. Leaching of enriched lithium clays inside a basin is one of the primary methods thought to have been used at Silver Peak to inject lithium into the brine.

Jackpot Lake may have higher-grade intervals at deeper depths within the basin, and lithium-rich sediments are common throughout the basin, suggesting that the best grades may still be in the core that needs to be drilled. Jackpot Lake may include these higher-grade intervals at deeper depths within the basin, per the assay results from the JP22-02 core. 

Usha Resources also highlighted its recently acquired hard-rock lithium projects, which includes White Willow, an advanced grassroots asset that hosts a fertile lithium-cesium-tantalum system containing coarse-grained tantalite crystallization similar to the North Aubrey pegmatite at Green Technology Metals’ (GT1) Seymour Lake project, which hosts a 9.9-million-tonne resource at 1.04% Li2O. Meanwhile, the company’s second pegmatite acquisition, Nym Lake, is host to at least 119 pegmatites that are on trend with the system identified at White Willow, giving Usha nearly 200 pegmatites to explore that may be related to the identified LCT-system.

For more information about Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTCQB:USHAF), please visit this link or the company’s website.

Featured Image @ Getty Images/iStockphoto


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Except as required by law, Usha Resources Ltd. undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future event or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Neither does Usha Resources Ltd. nor any of its representatives make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, sufficiency or completeness of the information in this document. Neither Usha Resources Ltd. nor any of its representatives shall have any liability whatsoever, under contract, tort, trust or otherwise, to you or any person resulting from the use of the information in this document by you or any of your representatives or for omissions from the information in this document.

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