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Lithium producers expand US drilling to grow domestic resources

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Lithium producers expand US drilling to grow domestic resources


American Lithium looks to increase LCE resource

Piedmont upgrading lithium resources as well

Pittsburgh — Piedmont Lithium and American Lithium are beginning new phases of drilling programs over the next several weeks to increase mineral resource estimates at their respective US lithium projects, both companies said Nov. 17.

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American Lithium said it is starting the third phase of a drill campaign at its TLC lithium sedimentary deposit in Nevada to expand on the site's current measured and indicated mineral resource of 5.37 million mt lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

"We are most enthusiastic that our particular mineralization may offer more than one advantageous cost effective production opportunity that can be a real game-changer to fulfill the critical and expanding need for domestic lithium production in North America," American Lithium CEO Mike Kobler said in a statement.

Beyond the measured and indicated resource, TLC has an inferred LCE resource of 1.76 million mt.

American Lithium said the drilling will provide additional material to progress independent testing and validation of existing work on economical production of lithium at TLC.

The early-stage economic studies for TLC will commence in early 2021, American Lithium added.

Piedmont said it is also adding new drills over the coming weeks at its North Carolina lithium spodumene property to upgrade the mineral resource classifications for select areas from the inferred category to the measured and indicated categories, according to a separate statement.

The drilling will focus on the North Carolina site's "core property" with an updated mineral resource estimate planned to be published in the second quarter of 2021, Piedmont said. The upgraded resource report will support the completion of a definitive feasibility study for the site in mid-2021, the company added.

"The Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt is one of the world's most prolific lithium belts and we are hopeful that we will ultimately delineate North America's largest spodumene resource, ideally located in North Carolina to power North America's clean energy storage and EV revolution," Piedmont CEO Keith Phillips said.

Piedmont currently estimates the mineral resources of its lithium project at 398,000 mt LCE in the indicated category and 366,000 mt in the inferred category, according to its most recent report.

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