UK-based exploration company Berkeley Energia has commenced an initial six-hole drilling programme to test for critical battery and EV metals across its license in Western Spain.

The total drill programme will cover 13 holes across 3,350m, targeting lithium, cobalt, tin, tungsten and rare earths, several of which were previously mined in commercial quantities.

Berkeley Energia owns more than 12,000km² of exploration license holdings in Western Spain, an area with a history of mining for metals and minerals.

Over the past two years, targets were generated through the exploration of a wide range of minerals. The targets were further refined by the use of the Ionic Leach programme.

The Ionic Leach technique enables ultra-low detection of metals and minerals. It significantly reduces the amount of drilling required by generating highly defined targets.

Results from the current drill programme will enable the company to further analyse the mineral and metal endowment across its licence holding.

The first area being targeted under this drill programme is located to the west of the licence area, which is 50km from Retortillo province. The area was previously mined for tin and high-grade lithium, reporting significant cobalt anomalies.

Berkeley has also been awarded a 31km² licence, including some former lithium and titanium operations. It is located adjacent to one of the areas being drilled as part of the current programme.

Berkeley Energia managing director and CEO Paul Atherley said: “The commencement of an exploration programme for battery and EV metals is an important step as it allows the company to build on the excellent work the team has done in generating targets across our large licence holding over the past two years.”