Novo Litio seeks to confirm status of rights to Portugal project

7th July 2017 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Lithium developer Novo Litio has extended its share suspension on the ASX on Friday, as the company continues engagements about the legal status of its rights to the Sepeda project, in northern Portugal.

The company, which initially requested a trading halt on June 22, said on Friday that its share suspension should continue until July 24.

Novo Litio is seeking to transfer the granted exploration licence and exploration licence applications, which comprise the Sepeda project, from Lusorecursos. The developer previously said that it considers its agreement with the vendor to be binding and enforceable and that it would pursue the matter in the courts of Portugal if needs be.

Novo Litio, which was formerly called Dakota Minerals, announced in June last year that it had acquired the rights to a large tenement package in Portugal. In terms of the acquisition, the company agreed to a €10 000 upfront option cash payment to Lusorecursos, a €10 000 cash payment and €63 000 six-month consulting contract and a €250 000 milestone payment.

At the end of May, Novo Litio said it was nearing the completion of a scoping study for the project, after metallurgical testwork showed that the Sepeda project would produce battery-grade lithium carbonate using industry-standard, conventional methods of calcination, acid baking and leaching. This would allow the company to pursue “off-the-shelf” processing technologies for feasibility studies.

Novo Litio aims to produce technical grade concentrate by early-2019, which will help to fund lithium carbonate/lithium hydroxide plant construction, with first production of lithium carbonate planned for early 2020.

The company believes its Portuguese deposits of petalite offer economic advantages over the spodumene deposits in Australia and Canada, as they are closer to potential downstream processing locations.