SOURCE: AXcess News

AXcess News

February 02, 2010 10:09 ET

AXcess News: Lithium Demand Energizing Exploration

RENO, NV--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - As demand for lithium grows, thanks to the push by the auto industry to produce lithium batteries, exploration for the rare earth is underway and in Nevada where the only operating US lithium mine exists, Lithium Corporation (OTCBB: LTUM) has been locking up properties it believes show promise.

Reno-based Lithium Corp. has managed to acquire claims in several areas considered hotbeds for lithium exploration, three of which are west of Clayton Valley where Silver Peak operates the only US lithium carbonate brine production plant in the US. The Company says samples indicate lithium sediments are double that found at Silver Peak's project with plans calling for further exploration of those properties.

Lithium Corp. President Tom Lewis says, "Due to all these positive attributes, we look forward to conducting more exploration work."

Worldwide, lithium exploration is developing into a fever pitch which, oddly enough, could benefit Lithium Corp. due to its lithium projects being away from populated areas with a mandate from the Obama administration to see "green energy" projects pushed forward, though for Nevada lithium is second in line to geothermal but is fast playing catch up as regulators gear up for the rare earth exploration permitting process.

In Monday's Ottawa Citizen, reporter Dave Rogers equates lithium exploration to a 21st Century gold rush that has landowners concerned. "The rush to find lithium in West Quebec has some residents concerned that prospectors will cut trees and tunnel or drill on their land to meet the demand for the volatile metal used in rechargeable electric car batteries," wrote Rogers.

The Quebec Mining Act allows geologists to go onto private property to analyze rocks near the surface with electronic instruments, take soil samples and drill for ore. But in Nevada, mining regulations don't permit such wildcat exploration tactics.

Rob Sabo reported in Northern Nevada Business Weekly in late November that the "permitting process is bogging down activity," which is "taking a backseat to geothermal," according to Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Lithium Corp. alongside several other mining companies are bearing down on the BLM in the rush to advance lithium exploration, though Lewis, an experienced project geologist, has decades of Nevada minerals exploration under his belt and knows the permitting process takes time. He noted in a late 2009 release that his Company "will utilize a comprehensive multi-discipline approach for the selection of targets for the drilling program slated for 2010."

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