Gold-focused Crusader puts Brazil, Portugal lithium assets up for sale

13th February 2018 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed minerals exploration and development company Crusader Resources aims to dispose of its lithium interests in Brazil and Portugal to focus its development and funding on the Borborema gold project, in Brazil, and the Juruena and Novo Astro gold exploration projects, in western Brazil.

“The nature of the current lithium market presents an appropriate opportunity for the company to review its options at the prospective Gaia, in Portugal, and Manga, in Brazil, assets, and to determine a way in which to best realise value for shareholders,” Crusader Resources MD Marcus Engelbrecht said on Tuesday.

He added that the current market for lithium presented an opportunity to look at options to farm‐out or dispose of its lithium interests. This strategy would allow the company to monetise or expose its shareholders to potential upside in relation to lithium assets.

Crusader’s subsidiary Third Element Metals (TEM) has recently completed negotiations with Portugal’s mining department for the granting of an exploration licence at Gaia. This will give TEM 100% ownership over the Gaia lithium project, located in the Gonçalo‐Guarda region, which is 220 km from the city of Porto.

The exploration licence consists of two nearby exploration blocks in an area of 88.842 km2, which surround multiple lithium operating mines with ongoing openpit extraction of hard‐rock lithium‐mica concentrates used to supply the highly successful local ceramic industry.

Moreover, the Gaia lithium project is in a similar geological setting to Crusader’s 100% owned tin/indium/lithium Manga deposit in Brazil.

The Gaia application area is adjacent to the Alvarrões lepidolite project, which is the subject of a drilling programme and mining study being conducted by ASX-listed Lepidico, which has recently announced a maiden mineral inferred resource estimate of 1.5-million tonnes at 1.1% lithium and has a market capitalisation of A$150-million.

The Manga project located in the north-east of central Brazil with tenure over 1 333 ha. Rock chip samples returned up to 1.8% lithium oxide (Li2O) within a zinnwaldite‐rich greisen zone with research returning assays of up to 3.6% Li2O zinnwaldite.

Recent significant developments in the processing of zinnwaldite and lepidolite deposits into lithium concentrate suitable for use in battery technology significantly increases the potential for both the Manga and Gaia projects, Crusader said in a statement.

In addition to the Manga and Gaia projects, Crusader manages an extensive database of the tungsten tailings in the Seridó area, in north-east Brazil, including historical samples of tailings in close proximity to the company’s flagship Borborema gold project.

The Borborema mineral province in the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba has been included in recent Brazilian governmental studies released, which show significant potential for economic lithium deposits in Brazil.