New drilling into Zinnwald lithium deposit starting21-08-13
SolarWorld AG aim to gather more detailed geological data
The Upper Mining Authority of Saxony has granted SolarWorld Solicium GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of SolarWorld AG, the permission for a further six test drillings into the lithium deposit in Zinnwald.
SolarWorld Solicium GmbH, responsible for lithium activities, had already carried out two test drillings one year ago. Once these drillings that mainly served to verify existing data on the deposit and to carry out analyses and mineral processing trials on Zinnwaldite had been carried out, a feasibility study on the ore mining plans was written. The results were positive, so the lithium project is now to be continued.
“With the drillings, missing chemical and geological data will be gathered for specific areas of the deposit,” said Prof. Dr. Armin Müller, Managing Director of SolarWorld Solicium GmbH. Core samples will be extracted from depths up to 350 metres. The focus of the investigation is the fundamental question as to whether or not the content of the strategically important metal is as high as previously expected for various areas of the deposit. This will decide the economic viability of the mining project and therefore the prospects of attracting financiers.
The drillings in the district of Altenberg will take place from August to October. The work will be carried out by the company Pruy KG from Schönheide, and engineering service support will be provided by the engineering company G.E.O.S. Scientific monitoring will be provided by Institute of Mineralogy of the TU Bergakademie.
In parallel, studies on optimising the lithium carbonate production process will be carried out with numerous project partners from the Central German region. Core samples will be prepared for analysis and sent to a certified mining laboratory. This is where the analysis of the chemical composition in terms of lithium, potassium, tin, wolfram and caesium and other elements will take place. The gathered data will be incorporated into the existing resource model and in March 2014, a new and final evaluation of the lithium content of the deposit will be available.
About the deposit
The lithium deposit in the eastern range of the Erzgebirge ranks among the largest lithium deposits worldwide. The coveted alkali metal is used as part of the cathode material in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are needed for electric cars, laptops and solar batteries. It is estimated that there are about 70,000 tonnes of lithium in the German area of the deposit investigated by SolarWorld. This equates to a quantity of approximately 370,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), which is supplied to battery manufacturers as a raw material.
About SolarWorld AG: SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production - including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com.