JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – UK-based mining investment firm Cadence Minerals has marked the shift to a new focus of investing in early stage lithium assets with shorter development timelines than that of typical lithium carbonate producers, with the news on Monday of an Argentina acquisition.
The company announced that it had executed binding investment agreements with Lithium Technologies and Lithium Supplies to six hard rock lithium assets in the San Luis province.
The six exploration permits, covering 55 773 ha, are located in known spodumene-bearing pegmatite fields. Cadence noted that historic mines outside the claims had produced lithium oxide at grades ranging from 4.5% to 6.5%.
"These assets tick all the boxes that we were looking for: Located in a well-known lithium producing country and in a large pegmatite field with known lithium compound production, potential to deliver quicker and cheaper development timelines and produce lithium oxide concentrate, near-term value triggers in the form of sampling and drilling and low cost in terms of the acquisition itself and the mineral exploration,” said Cadence CEO Kiran Morzaria.
Cadence plans to start work on the project in early 2018, with its initial focus being on geological mapping, mineralogical studies of exposed pegmatites and the mapping of any newly identified historical workings. This will be followed by an extensive sampling programme to identify any potential mineralisation, after which a drilling programme will be developed.
Cadence said it would initially earn a 49% interest in the exploration permits by spending £1.1-million on exploration and development and by issuing £400 000 of new shares in the company to Lithium Technologies and Lithium Supplies.
The company could then earn the balance by issuing a further £1.75-million in new ordinary shares to the vendors.