JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Cougar Metals has secured a cobalt exploration project in Chile, which executive chairperson Randal Swick said on Wednesday was considered a complementary opportunity to its lithium prospect in Brazil.
Cougar has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Antasitua Chile to acquire a 100% interest in the 36 km2 Plateado cobalt project, which contains a historical mine that is reported to have produced high-grade cobalt.
Cougar said that sampling early last year of historical workings and dumps had returned grades of between 0.33% and 1.07% cobalt.
In terms of the LoI, a new Australian parent company shall be formed to hold the Chilean project. The shares will initially be held in escrow by the manager (Ricardo Rangel), but will be transferred to Cougar once the company has spent a minimum of A$100 000 on exploration and made a A$100 000 cash payment to Antasitua.
The beneficial ownership of the new company shall remain with the manager, but pass to Cougar upon an exploration spend, or cash payment of the shortfall, of A$300 000, provided that this is completed in three years of the execution of the LoI.
Cougar will engage the consulting services of Rangel and a local geologist on agreed terms and will also grant Antasitua a 15% net profit interest in the project portfolio, capped at A$2-million.
The company reported that it would start an exploration programme, including reconnaissance mapping, sampling and extensional soil geochemistry to define the strike extent of mineralisation outside the immediate historical mine.
“The Plateado cobalt project offers Cougar an attractive exploration opportunity for cobalt at a time when the commodity price remains strong and with a positive outlook,” Swick commented.
The acquisition represents the company’s first step towards diversifying and expanding its portfolio of assets.