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Potential lithium brines investigated in Australia

Mining & Resources

TWO salt lakes in South Australia will be investigated for their lithium potential.

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As society becomes more dependent on technology, metals like lithium are in high demand.

Adelaide Resources Limited has secured the opportunity to prospect for lithium concentrations at Lake Gilles and Lake Acraman.

The two lakes are situated in the Eyre Peninsula about 600km northwest of South Australia’s capital Adelaide.

Adelaide Resources Managing Director Chris Drown said the surrounding rocks and soil were an indication that there may be traces of lithium in the lake brines.

“South Australia sits in one of the arid belts, the one south of the equator. Lithium brine deposits develop here,” he said.

“We have lots of salt lakes in South Australia in Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens, Lake Gilles and Lake Acraman.

“We are going to see if there are elevated signs of lithium in two of those lakes. It’s a very new sort of exploration target.”

Lithium extraction is a billion dollar business that is expected to quadruple to USD$6bn by 2020.

Worldwide, lithium is extracted from two principal sources – hard rock deposits and lithium brines associated with salt lakes.

Australia is one of the leading suppliers of lithium but does not have as many known sources as its competitors.

More than 50 percent of the world’s lithium deposits are found in South America, increasing the need for more sources to be found in other parts of the world.

“Lithium is a metal in high demand. It is at the forefront of technology development and manufacturing. There as an increasing demand of lithium in batteries, solar energy storage and electric motor vehicle industries,” Drown said.

“Lithium is one of those metals that have a very bright future. We’re going to investigate and see if South Australia can be a part of the global supply chain.”

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