A Sudbury junior mining company has cashed up to do more exploration of its high-grade and open-ended lithium property in northwestern Ontario.
Frontier Lithium announced Dec. 15 that it's raised $12 million in flow-through shares to boost the resource numbers at its PAK project, 175 kilometres north of Red Lake, near the Manitoba border.
The company's 26,774-hectare property hosts two spodumene-bearing deposits, dubbed PAK and Spark, located two kilometres apart. Spodumene is the most widely used lithium because of its high lithium content.
Frontier Lithium claims PAK is a 'Tier 1' globally significant lithium resource with room to expand through exploration.
The company has stated its intentions of bringing the two deposits into production with the help of a strategic investment partner. Frontier Lithium intends to be a miner and a process with the intention of establishing a hydrometallurgical chemical plant to supply product to the electric vehicle market.
Last winter, Frontier released a preliminary economic assessment of the project, placing a 26-year open-pit mine life with a combined resource of about 30 million tonnes of lithium oxide.
Two-thirds of that resource sits in the inferred category, meaning the estimate of the quantity and grade, or quality, is based on limited geological information.
The exploration dollars are earmarked to do more closely spaced infill drilling, especially on its Spark deposit, to upgrade that resource from the inferred category to the measured and indicated categories, delivering a higher degree of confidence for potential investors.
The results of the infill drilling will be folded into a new resource estimate due out in the new year along with a prefeasibility study on the project, which is expected to be released in mid-2022.
The company has spent a great deal of time in the lab this year determining what kind of refining process and technology it will use to convert its spodumene concentrate into lithium hydroxide, a semi-finished material that's favoured by electric vehicle battery makers.