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Lithium Australia NL earning in near giant lithium deposit in Mexico

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has completed the first hurdle and earned 25% in the Electra Project, located along trend from the giant Sonora lithium clay deposit in Mexico.

Lithium Australia has a joint venture with TSX listed Alix Resources (TSX:AIX) and has the ability to earn up to 65% as the project advances.

Lithium Australia and Alix see application of technology to be the key to commercialising lithium clay deposits.

Adrian Griffin, managing director, commented: "At Lithium Australia we recognize the value of innovation in developing process solutions.

"Our success in developing the Sileach™ process for spodumene is a great example and we strongly believe we can develop a processing strategy to enhance the commercial opportunity provided by processing lithium clays."

Sileach™

Lithium Australia holds proprietary lithium extraction processes, uses advanced exploration techniques and has access to lithium sources through its bank of projects.

Sileach™ is a market leading metal extraction technology owned by Lithium Australia.

The Sileach™ process is designed to recover lithium from silicates without the expensive roasting step that has long been the main stay of the lithium recovery process.

In March, the company began to fast track pilot plant testing of the Coolgardie lithium deposit using the Sileach™ process.

Lithium mining costs

Hard rock lithium mining costs are high at around $4,000 per lithium carbonate equivalent tonne.

Lithium Australia wants to remove the energy cost from hard rock operations using its technology to take the mining cost to below $2,000 per lithium equivalent tonne.

Low grade giant clay deposits present different challenges and Lithium Australia believes the key to commercialisation lies in low energy process flowsheets and potential ore beneficiation.

Adoption of mineral separation technology from other industries may allow the production of a beneficiated product, to reduce capital and operating costs.

Analysis

The Electra project is located within the world's largest lithium clay province.

Lithium Australia's interest in Electra is significant for two reasons, it leverages them to exploration in a world class province, and provides them with an opportunity to develop a commercial processing technology applicable to lithium clay deposits.

Lithium Australia's share price is up 170% over the past 12 months.

The company is positioned well within a strong lithium market, developing both, processing technology that is potentially applicable on a global scale, and growing a portfolio of lithium projects.

Lithium Australia now has a variety of lithium related alliances and joint ventures, which means technical resources are pooled and exploration costs are shared. It also helps produce steady news flow.

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