Charger Metals

Lake Johnston Project Update

Charger Metals NL (ASX: CHR, “Charger” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce further high- grade lithium intersections from the final assays of its maiden drill programme at the Medcalf Prospect of the Lake Johnston Lithium Project, Western Australia.

  • All assays have been received for the maiden reverse circulation (RC) programme completed earlier this year at the Medcalf Prospect of the Lake Johnston Project, WA
  • Further high-grade lithium results returned from spodumene-bearing pegmatites, with new significant intersections including:
    • 4m @ 1.21% Li2O from 208m (23CRC017)
    • 3m @ 1.33% Li2O from 110m (23CRC018)
    • 3m @ 1.35% Li2O from 136m (23CRC018)
    • 3m @ 1.44% Li2O from 168m (23CRC018)
    • 3m @ 1.24% Li2O from 101m (23CRC022) 1
  • The drilling at Medcalf has delineated a swarm of stacked spodumene-bearing pegmatites up to 13m thick (down-hole) within a 100m wide corridor along 700m of strike and 250m down-dip 2
  • The results from the maiden drill programme will be modelled to define priority targets for follow-up drilling to test for extensions to the high-grade lithium mineralisation
  • An Aboriginal Heritage survey will commence this week at the Medcalf Prospect to prepare for the upcoming extensional drill programme
Charger’s Managing Director, Aidan Platel, commented:

“The maiden drill programme at Medcalf was a great success, with significant high-grade lithium within logged spodumene-bearing pegmatites intersected on nearly every drill section. The potential for further high-grade lithium mineralisation at Medcalf remains open, and our team is now busy modelling the drilling results in order to define extensional targets for the next phase of drilling.

We will commence an Aboriginal Heritage survey later this week over the area immediately surrounding the Medcalf Prospect in order to be ready for the next phase of drilling. In parallel to this our technical team is busy defining exploration programmes for several other prospective target areas of the Lake Johnston Project, including the exciting Mt Day Prospect, and we’re looking forward to drill-testing these high priority prospects.”

Assays have now been received for all forty-one drill-holes of the maiden RC drill programme completed earlier this year at the Medcalf Prospect. Importantly, high-grade lithium was intersected on nearly every drill section (see Figure 1), correlating well with the logged intervals of spodumene-bearing pegmatites. Significant intersections from the drill programme include: 3

  • 4m @ 1.21% Li2O from 208m (23CRC017)
  • 3m @ 1.44% Li2O from 168m (23CRC018)
  • 4m @ 2.06% Li2O from 145m (23CRC013)
  • 6m @ 1.56% Li2O from 19m (23CRC006)
  • 5m @ 1.41% Li2O from 83m (23CRC007)
  • 6m @ 1.34% Li2O from 24m (23CRC003)
  • 6m @ 1.06% Li2O from 47m (23CRC002)
  • 5m @ 2.55% Li2O from 68m (22CRC002)
  • 6m @ 1.52% Li2O from 26m (22CRC005)
  • 5m @ 1.86% Li2O from 24m (22CRC007) and
  • 4m @ 1.83% Li2O from 56m (22CRC007). 4

The lithium mineralisation at the Medcalf Prospect is hosted within a swarm of anastomosing to tabular stacked pegmatites hosted within sheared amphibolite. The pegmatites are members of the lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite family (albite-spodumene type) and spodumene has been logged in both the drill chips and in many outcrops. Spodumene is the preferred mineral for the commercial production of lithium, which is one component of modern lithium batteries.

The spodumene-bearing pegmatites are up to 13m in width (allowing up to 2m of contiguous internal waste) and have been delineated on a northwest – southeast strike over 700m long. The pegmatites dip at approximately 40° towards the southwest and currently remain open at depth (Figures 1 and 2).

Upon receipt of the final assays the Company has initiated modelling of the spodumene-bearing pegmatites and the high-grade lithium mineralisation in order to plan follow-up drilling to target extensions of the mineralisation. As part of the preparations for the next phase of drilling, an Aboriginal Heritage survey will commence this week over the area immediately surrounding the Medcalf Prospect. Company geologists will accompany Traditional Owners of the Ngadju people to conduct the survey, which is expected to take several days.

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This article includes content from Charger Metals, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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The Company also announced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2023 of US$203.2 million ( US$0.71 per share), a decrease of approximately 82.3% compared to US$1,151.0 million ( US$4.03 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2022. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2023 reached US$400.7 million , approximately 75.6% lower than the US$1,641.9 million reported for the fourth quarter 2022. Revenues totaled US$1,311.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2023, a decrease of approximately 58.1% compared to US$3,133.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2022.

SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo Ramos , stated: "Our fourth quarter 2023 results reflected record-high sales volumes in lithium business and increased sales volumes in iodine and potassium business lines when compared to the previous quarter and the same period last year. Despite a downturn in lithium market prices when compared to the previous year, our focus on operational efficiency and ability to successfully execute capacity expansion projects have facilitated notable production growth in lithium and iodine businesses over the past year. While we continue with our expansions in Chile and expect our lithium carbonate capacity to reach 210,000 metric tons during the first quarter of this year, we also celebrated first production of spodumene concentrate at our Mt. Holland operation site during the fourth quarter of 2023. In the iodine business, as a result of successful start-up of Pampa Blanca operation, record-high production volumes were achieved during the year, reconfirming SQM´s position as industry leader with ability to deliver growth ahead of competition."

He continued by saying: "As we enter into 2024, we anticipate another robust year of growth in lithium market, with global demand increasing by at least 20%, supported by electric vehicle sales growth globally and increasing demand for battery materials. However, the excess in lithium and battery materials capacity seen during last year is expected to continue during this year, keeping pressure on lithium market prices. We expect our average lithium prices to remain relatively stable throughout the year and our sales volumes to increase slightly during this year, subject to market conditions and any changes in supply-demand balance."

He finished by saying: "In December last year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Codelco to jointly develop the Salar Futuro project and sustainably operate in the Salar de Atacama beyond 2030. Together with the communities, we are working on the definitive documentation in the upcoming months and will inform the market once this process is concluded. Last year, SQM was included into both DJSI World and Emerging Markets indices, several years ahead of our internal goal. This is the result of ongoing work and our commitments to increase the transparency and sustainability of our operations."

Total capital expenditure in 2023 was close to US$1.1 billion . For the period 2024-2025, total capex is expected to be approximately US$2.4 billion , including:

  • US$1.4 billion related to lithium capacity expansion projects in Chile , including US$130 million of maintenance.
  • US$700 million related to nitrates and iodine capacity expansion project in Chile , including US$160 million of maintenance.
  • US$340 million related to Mt. Holland lithium project in Australia and exploration projects.

The capex for 2024 is expected to be approximately US$1.3 billion , including maintenance.

About SQM

SQM is a global company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Santiago Stock Exchange (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A). SQM develops and produces diverse products for several industries essential for human progress, such as health, nutrition, renewable energy and technology through innovation and technological development. We aim to maintain our leading world position in the lithium, potassium nitrate, iodine and thermo-solar salts markets.

For further information, contact:

Gerardo Illanes /
Irina Axenova  /
Isabel Bendeck /

For media inquiries, contact:

Maria Ignacia Lopez /
Pablo Pisani /

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make concerning the implementation of the MoU and potential partnership with Codelco, the development of Salar Futuro Project, Company's capital expenditures, financing sources, Sustainable Development Plan, business and demand outlook, future economic performance, anticipated sales volumes, profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth.

Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management based on currently available information. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements, including our ability to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Plan. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by SQM with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 20-F, which identifies other important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to SQM on the date hereof and SQM assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

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SOURCE Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile , S.A. (SQM)

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