United Lithium Corp. (CSE:ULTH) recently announced its first assay results from its boulder train mapping and sampling program at its Bergby Lithium Project in Sweden. Assays showed excellent results from new, previously unknown lithium mineralized zones in an area west of the northern part of the previously drilled mineralized pegmatite.
The results from the new zone included 3.01% Li2O, 2.82% Li2O and 2.12% Li2O. Additional assays of 1.71% Li2O, 1.72% Li2O, and 1.46% Li2O were meanwhile encountered between 300 and 500 metres to the northwest of the southern end of previous drilling. Finally, 3.33% Li2O was hit 600 metres to the west of this previous drilling.
In addition, a soil sampling program near the source of the northern spodumene boulder train was completed and the collected samples were processed and sent to the lab to be analyzed for Lithium, Caesium, Rubidium and Tantalum.
The mapping and sampling results show that the area of mineralized pegmatite is larger than originally anticipated and the firm believes there is “significant potential to discover more lithium-bearing pegmatite dykes,” as per CEO Michael Dehn. This is in addition to the larger section of the property that was identified with spodumene-bearing boulders. These developments have prompted United Lithium to expand its Bergby land position to over 10,458 hectares by acquiring four additional contiguous claims to explore other potential targets.
The Bergby project in central Sweden is supported by excellent road, rail and power infrastructure, and a core logging and cutting facility was established at the Port of Norrsundet, which is only 4 kilometres from the drill site. The port also has excellent infrastructure and can handle industrial applications, which will be significant for United Lithium as it processes its lithium oxides and carbonates for transport to European gigafactory customers.
On the topic of processing, back in March 2021, United announced that it entered into a partnership with Mississauga, Ontario-based Process Research Ortech to develop a proprietary leaching and purification protocol for hard rock lithium deposits. The processing of lithium is essentially a chemical engineering exercise, where lithium-bearing pegmatite rock is processed to extract the lithium from the rocks and then converted into lithium oxides or lithium carbonates, which is then sold to end-user customers. The goal of the chemical processing is to achieve the highest lithium grade recoveries.
The Ortech collaboration will develop a preliminary mineral processing and metallurgical process to recover lithium from hard rock spodumene mineralization. This involves processing the spodumene and petalite minerals to remove any impurities such as iron, aluminum, zinc etc. that could reduce the quality of the lithium, to recover the highest grades of lithium carbonate possible.
If the process is proven successful, the company plans to use what it believes is a greener, more environmentally sensitive process that can be achieved with lower temperatures, lower chemical needs and less processing time compared to existing methodologies. The tech is intended to be used to process the spodumene and pegmatite lithium-bearing ore at Bergby to optimize its own lithium recoveries. This will provide United Lithium with the opportunity to generate revenue from the ore it processes for delivery, without the need for building a massive processing plant until the economics of the project will support it.
Lithium is a critical element necessary for manufacturing Lithium-Ion batteries for the electric vehicle industry and demand is currently exceeding supply as the world quickly moves towards reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change. Many countries have already mandated that gasoline-powered vehicles will be eliminated by 2030, leading to a boom in global EV manufacturing and resulting investment in the battery gigafactories that produce the technologies needed to power EVs. The construction of 25 gigafactories are currently being planned in Europe alone.
United Lithium is well positioned to supply European factories with lithium from its Bergby Project in Sweden, and the Kietyönmäki project in Finland, both of which are at an advanced stage of development. At both projects the lithium deposits are located at surface and near-surface, which will enable cost-effective mining and lithium concentrates can be sold into the European Union tariff-free.
Recent surprising results at Bergby indicate that the potential of the project has been significantly enhanced. By having the capability to use its proprietary chemical extraction process to achieve much higher-grade lithium recoveries than average, this will give ULTH a distinct competitive advantage in the industry. With only 52.78 million shares outstanding and a modest market capitalization of $60.4 million, United Lithium appears to represent a reasonably modest-risk lithium exploration play with direct exposure to the strong European EV and battery markets.
FULL DISCLOSURE: United Lithium is a client of Canacom Group, the parent company of The Deep Dive. The author has been compensated to cover United Lithium on The Deep Dive, with The Deep Dive having full editorial control. Additionally, the author personally holds shares of the company. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security.