During 2016, the Company adjusted its exploration focus to the exploration and development of lithium brine projects and lithium hard rock projects in a prime location amongst the major lithium companies in Argentina, having conducted activities in Argentina previously. In 2017, the Company holds four separate lithium projects in Argentina, each with potential to be a substantial stand alone development project, or colloquially, each "a company maker". Lake holds one of the largest lease holdings of lithium brine and hard rock projects of a listed entity on the ASX.
On 14 November 2016, the Company completed the acquisition of an unlisted company LithNRG Pty Ltd, with exciting lithium brine projects in three large packages of mineral lease applications (over 90,000 Ha) around salt lakes in North West Argentina. The leases had been established prior to the significant interest by majors and investors in lithium in Argentina. Lake controls 100% the subsidiary LithNRG Pty Ltd with its Argentine subsidiaries, Minerales Australes SA and Morena del Valle Minerals SA. The transaction was share based, followed by two private placements in December 2016 and February 2017.
An option agreement was entered into over a large block of mining leases and exploration applications over lithium bearing pegmatites in Argentina in February 2017. Consideration for the transaction are shares in the Company. This agreement was extended into FY2018 to allow completion of the establishment of the local entity, Petra Energy SA, and 19 million LKE shares would be issued if the option is exercised.
An unsecured debt security (note) was announced in November 2017 and raised $1.665 million from sophisticated and professional investors in the form of 1,665,000 unsecured notes at $1. This note will be repaid in the second half of FY2018 as other funds become available.
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About Lake Resources NL
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its three lithium brine projects and 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 (~200,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant 'rush' by major companies. The large holdings provide the potential to provide consistent security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.
The Kachi project covers 69,000 ha over a salt lake south of FMC's lithium operation and near Albemarle's Antofalla project in Catamarca Province. Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 20km long, 15km wide and 400m to 800m deep. Drilling over Kachi (currently 16 drill holes, 3100m) has produced a maiden indicated and inferred resource of 4.4 Mt LCE (Indicated 1.0Mt and Inferred 3.4Mt) within a 8-17 Mt LCE exploration target (refer ASX announcement 27 November 2018).
A direct extraction technique is being tested in partnership with Lilac Solutions, which has shown 80-90% recoveries and lithium brine concentrations in excess of 3000 mg/L lithium and is planned to be trialled on site in tandem with conventional methods as part of a PFS to follow the resource statement. Scope exists to unlock considerable value through partnerships and corporate deals in the near term.
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