Landmark Agreement with Jujuy Province Confirms Tenure
- Landmark agreement signed with Jujuy Province in Argentina confirms tenure of Lake's ~45,000 Hectares of leases in world class lithium production area
- Leases adjoin lithium brine production and development projects in Jujuy, Argentina.
- The Olaroz-Cauchari Lithium Brine Project and Paso Project are 100% owned by Lake.
- Agreement signed with Lake's subsidiaries confirms tenure and the granting of Lake's leases in the world's prime lithium brine location.
- Activity has been stalled for two years pending approvals - now effectively resolved with this agreement.
- Leases were pegged prior to the recent rush for projects in the lithium sector in the same basin as Orocobre and SQM/Lithium Americas.
- A significant value catalyst for Lake Resources.
The applications adjoin the production leases owned by Orocobre and SQM/Lithium Americas and have the potential to display lithium in the same aquifers. Prime lithium brine areas were applied for "pre-boom" by the entities acquired by Lake Resources in November 2016.
This landmark agreement, entered into with the Jujuy province, allows Lake to start work on advancing exploration efforts across these areas with preliminary work on environmental impact studies and community consultations to expedite drill access. Local administrative issues brought delays which are now effectively resolved with this collaborative agreement with the province, subject to the usual processing procedures.
In Olaroz, Lake's leases extend 30km north-south adjoining Orocobre's Olaroz lithium production leases to the east. In Cauchari, Lake's leases extend 11km north-south adjoining SQM/Lithium Americas and Advantage Lithium/Orocobre's Cauchari lithium development leases to the west. Lake's Managing Director, Steve Promnitz, said: "This is a major step forward and a significant value catalyst for Lake Resources. This is one of the largest land holdings in one of the prime lithium brine basins of the world and it confirms Lake's substantial scale versus its peers."
"The applications were made well before lithium assets commanded high valuations in Argentina. The leases are in the same basin as Orocobre, SQM/Lithium Americas, Advantage Lithium and LSC Lithium which have proven and indeed excellent lithium grades and are either in production or heading that way rapidly. The delay in granting has been worth the effort and this is clearly demonstrated from our neighbours which have rapidly developed lithium projects here."
The locations of Lake's Olaroz - Cauchari Lithium Brine Project and Paso Project in relation to current production and major new developments are illustrated in Figures 1-9 (see link below) and are on the province's public cartographic system.
To view figures, please visit:
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 provide the potential to provide security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.
The two flagship lithium brine projects are Kachi and Olaroz/Cauchari, 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/Gangfeng/Lithium Americas Cauchari project, with high grade lithium (600 mg/L) with high flow rates drilled immediately across the lease boundary. Drilling is planned to commence in early October 2018 Cauchari with a three hole programme to intersect and extend the same lithium brine aquifers identified in the adjoining world-class lithium resource. Lake Resources aims to repeat the same high grade lithium results in its leases as the recent geophysics shows the likely extension of the same horizon into Lake's leases. Drilling will follow later at Olaroz once the methodology is proven at Cauchari.
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 22km long and over 400m deep. Drilling over Kachi is aimed to produce a resource statement in 2018, anticipated in Oct 2018. A new direct extraction method is being tested in partnership with Lilac Solutions which promises far higher recoveries and in significantly shorter timelines, which will be trialled in tandem with conventional methods as part of a PFS after the resource statement. 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/Gangfeng/Lithium Americas Cauchari project. Gangfeng recently announced a US$237 million transaction to acquire 37% of the project from SQM, with a two year timeline to initial production. Projects nearby to Kachi and FMC's Hombre Muerto were recently acquired via a takeover offer of C$265 million for Lithium X, completed in March 2018, and the northern half of Galaxy's Sal de Vida resource, purchased for US$280 million by POSCO in June 2018. Major players in the lithium supply chain continue to secure prime projects in the best locations globally.
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.
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