Issues Shares for Option Over Large Lithium Pegmatite Leases in Argentina
- Shares issued for option agreement over a large area (~70,000 Ha) of potential lithium bearing pegmatites in Catamarca Province, Argentina
- Lithium pegmatites recognised in drilling underway in adjoining leases with encouraging results anticipated
- Sampling to commence over the newly recognised 150km long belt of pegmatite swarms
- LKE shareholders gain increased asset optionality with exposure to both prime lithium brine leases and a new lithium pegmatite belt.
- LKE holds one of the largest lithium lease holdings in Argentina, the target of numerous recent transactions
- Active forward works program in Argentina is ongoing
- Continued assessment for complementary assets to strengthen portfolio
Lake has recently closed an oversubscribed capital raising to ensure the company is well funded to continue an aggressive exploration campaign of drilling and geophysics over lithium brine leases, starting at the Kachi Lithium Brine Project, together with the commencement of sampling over the pegmatites in Catamarca.
Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) ("Latin") holds adjoining leases in the same pegmatite belt and recently announced drilling of spodumene-bearing pegmatites over substantial widths (announced 23 February 2017) together with rock samples reported from 4.9% to 7.1% LiO2 (announced 14 June 2016). LRS and LKE, should it execute the option agreement, will most likely control most of the potential belt of pegmatites.
Lake Resources Managing Director, Stephen Promnitz, commented: "We have pleased to have successfully closed a capital raising to be well funded to continue the exploration programme over lithium brines and start on the pegmatites in Argentina. Work is ongoing at the Kachi project, the location of our first major drill program which is scheduled to commence in the coming months.
"Recent corporate transactions in the lithium sector in Argentina show that Lake is on the right track to deliver substantial upside due as the value is unlocked in our strategically located lease holdings. We actively assess opportunities to strengthen and complement our asset base."
Background on Lithium Pegmatite Belt
Lake and its subsidiaries have maintained an active watch over an area of lithium bearing spodumene pegmatites in the Ancasti Ranges of Catamarca province previously known for small scale lithium production. Initial field visits by Lake personnel have demonstrated outcropping pegmatites over a belt 150km long with coarse grained spodumene crystals 30-70cm long in a number of locations. Although data is limited, an option agreement was considered a prudent way to further assess the potential. Sampling will commence soon to assess initial areas for drilling.
Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) announced on 23 February 2017 that its drill programme underway at present has intersected lithium spodumene in pegmatites over substantial widths. Previously LRS had released results of 4.9% LiO2 to 7.1% LiO2 from samples of spodumene from old mine workings.
Option terms over Lease holding
Lake has signed an option agreement under the following terms:
- 4 million LKE shares for a 4 month option period, with 1 million shares on signing and 3 million shares within 60 days, extendable to 6 months with a payment of a further 1 million LKE shares. (50% voluntarily escrowed for 6 months). Due diligence and initial exploration to be undertaken at LKE cost.
- 15 million LKE shares on execution of the option, paid in two tranches, with 7.5 million shares upon execution and 7.5 million shares once 65% of the areas are granted for exploration (which may be simultaneously). (50% voluntarily escrowed for 6 months)
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About Lake Resources NL
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its 3 lithium brine projects and 1 hard rock project in Argentina, all owned 100%. The leases are in a prime location among the lithium sector's largest players within the Lithium Triangle where half of the world's lithium is produced. Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in Argentina (~180,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant 'rush' by major companies. The large holdings provides the potential to provide security of supply demanded by battery and electric vehicle manufacturers located.
The three key brine projects, Olaroz/Cauchari, Paso and Kachi, are located adjacent to major world class brine projects either in production or being developed in the highly prospective Jujuy and Catamarca Provinces. The Olaroz-Cauchari project is located in the same basin as Orocobre's Olaroz lithium production and adjoins SQM/Lithium Americas Cauchari project, where high grade lithium (600 mg/L) with high flow rates have been drilled immediately across the lease boundary. The Kachi project covers 50,000 Ha over a salt lake south of FMC's lithium operation and near Albemarle's Antofalla project.
Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 25km long and over 400m deep. Drilling over Kachi is aimed to produce a resource statement later in 2018. Drilling will commence in coming months at Olaroz-Cauchari now that tenure has been confirmed in a landmark agreement in March 2018. This will provide several catalysts for the company's growth. Scope exists to unlock considerable value through partnerships and corporate deals in the near-term.
Significant corporate transactions continue in adjacent leases with development of SQM/Lithium Americas Olaroz/Cauchari project with an equity/debt investment over $300 million and Advantage Lithium's equity transaction in some of Orocobre's leases. LSC Lithium has also raised over $60 million on a large lease package in similar areas as Lake's properties. Nearby projects of Lithium X were recently acquired via a takeover offer of C$265 million completed March 2018.
The demand for lithium continues to be strong for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, according to recent data from the leading independent battery minerals consultant - Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Supply continues to be constrained suggesting good opportunities for upstream lithium companies for many years.
Latin Resources Limited
Lake Resources NL