The Saxony State Mining Authority granted Bacanora Lithium PLC subsidiary Deutsche Lithium GmbH a five-year exploration license covering 42 square kilometers surrounding its Zinnwald lithium project in Germany.
The company said March 20 that the Altenberg license, where historical exploration identified potential lithium, tin and tungsten mineralization, could increase the life of the planned Zinnwald mine.
Deutsche Lithium will combine the exploration and development of the new license with its Zinnwald and Falkenhain licenses. In October 2018, an updated resource estimate for Zinnwald increased contained measured and indicated lithium by 30%.
A feasibility study on the Zinnwald project is on track to be completed in the second quarter. The analysis is focused on developing a strategy to produce higher-value downstream lithium products from concentrates for the European battery and automotive sectors.
Bacanora Lithium is also in discussions with financial advisors and potential strategic partners for the potential spinoff of Deutsche Lithium to help fund Zinnwald's construction.
CEO Peter Secker said the company is also working to complete funding for its 70%-owned Sonora lithium carbonate project in Mexico in the second quarter.
The company aims to commission an initial operation producing 17,500 tonnes per year in the first stage of the Sonora development and anticipates initial production in the second half of 2021.