The lithium concentrate price has continued to rise this year after gaining nearly 500 per cent in the 12 months to January.
The battery metal has been making headlines amid the huge growth in Pilbara Minerals’ (PLS) monthly lithium auction price and Ford Motor Company taking a strategic position to secure supply from companies including Liontown Resources (LTR) and Ioneer (INR).
All of this augers well for emerging lithium players, including Pilbara-focussed MinRex Resources (MRR), which is cashed up and ready to drill.
MinRex has about 1000 sqkm of projects near Marble Bar and Tambourah. The projects neighbour lithium tenements controlled by Rio Tinto and Global Lithium.
MinRex has refreshed its brand and website as it looks to gain investor attention. Managing Director and CEO George Karageorge — who was one of the founding geologists with Pilbara Minerals — said the company held $14 million, and a drilling campaign was imminent.
“We told the market we’d be drilling in July or August: we are still on plan,” Mr Karageorge said.
“You wake up every day and read a headline and it’s not about doom and gloom, it’s about lithium and the extraordinary price that is being commanded by Pilbara Minerals’ monthly auctions, and the spot price has been close to US$7000 a tonne.
“You see that Ford Motor Company and Liontown have engaged, and Elon Musk has ‘apparently’ been in West Perth.
“He’s talking about lithium. He’s talking about the price of lithium and the shortage of lithium, so we’re really happy to be where we are right now.”
Mr Karageorge has four geologists, including Technical Director Ian Shackleton, who was also a founding geologist at Global Lithium and led the Archer discovery.
“We have a great team,” Mr Karageorge said.
“Everything’s field-driven. The office is a very quiet place, the field is a very busy place for us.
“Approvals are all done — we’ve engaged with native title holders and other stakeholders including pastoralists. We have field crews on the ground in the Pilbara now. We are ready to go.
“But it’s not just a lithium play; it’s a rare earths play, too.
“We’ve got a lot of real estate, and we need to drill it. They’re great projects. We’ve got targets and we’ve got great lithium results from our rock chipping, but with the granted tenements status, we just haven’t had the opportunity to actually get into these projects. We understand them, we know where the right rocks are, and we’re really looking forward to getting our teeth into drilling.”