Rare Earth Minerals (REM) said that the current drilling programme at its Fleur-El Sauz lithium project in Northern Mexico has significantly increased the size of the deposit.

The company, along with its joint venture partner Bacanora Mineral, has also started construction of a bulk-testing pilot plant.

The plant will be built at Bacanora’s laboratory in Hermosillo and will produce lithium carbonate from the roast leach process.

REM said that results from the additional seven new holes at the site show lithium values averaging 1,683 parts per million over 20.88m in the upper clay and 4,821 parts per million over 20.88m in the lower clay, in line with expectations.

An additional five holes drilled further along strike to the south-east have extended the deposit by 3km more than previously drilled, with analytical results pending.

The company said surface grades have now been recorded up to 16,410 parts per million of 1.64% lithium and drilling will be initiated on the new 94,815ha Megalit concession.

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REM chairman David Lenigas said drilling continues to increase the size of the Fleur-El Sauz lithium project, with additional drilling anticipated to test further extensions over the coming months.

"We have already drill-defined around 1.5 million tonnes of LCE from the stage one drilling programme last year and the significant increase in drilled strike length in the current drilling campaign should have a material impact on the size of the LCE resource once this current drilling programme is completed," Lenigas said.

"The construction of a bulk testing pilot plant is also positive news as it will refine the metallurgical recovery techniques required to maximise the extraction of the lithium from the clays, where we have already seen excellent progress to date."

Image: Drilling is continuing at REM’s Fleur-El Sauz lithium project in Mexico. Photo: courtesy of