Canadian resource company Marifil Mines has agreed to acquire two lithium properties in the Argentine province of Catamarca from Minera Esperanza.
Pursuant to the Agreement, the Company has also acquired an option (the “Option”) to purchase the Lithium Properties for US$1.86 million, upon the exercise of which, together with the Company’s recently acquired Ratones and Fraile claims, the Company’s lithium exploration portfolio will cover 15,267 hectares within the famed “Lithium Triangle”.
Marifil president and CEO Robert Abenante said: “The addition of Carachi Pampa III and IV displays our Company’s continued aggressive growth within the lithium space in Argentina.
“We now have access to lithium assets covering over 15,000 hectares, all located within the Lithium Triangle in Argentina,” added Mr. Abenante.
The Lithium Properties cover southern portions of the Carachi Pampa salar in Catamarca and are composed of the Carachi Pampa III claim of 2,569 hectares and the Carachi Pampa IV claim of 6,170 hectares.
The Lithium Properties are located approximately 90 kilometers south of FMC’s Hombre Muerto lithium brine mine and adjacent to a maiden lithium brine drilling program being carried out by Lake Resources N.L. The Carachi Pampa salar is approximately 20 kilometers in diameter and lies within a large intermountain basin.
Marifil vice president Richard Walters said: “The nearby young volcanic formations are an excellent source of lithium and boron. Indeed, the Carachi Pampa salar is an old boron prospect.”
The Lithium Properties were formerly owned by Marifil and were sold to Minera Esperanza in 2013, subject to Marifil retaining a non-assignable 1% net smelter return (NSR) thereon.
The Agreement provides for Marifil’s engagement over five years for exploration work respecting the Lithium Properties and provides that, upon exercise of the Option, Minera Esperanza will retain a 1.5% NSR (the “Minera NSR”) on the Lithium Properties, to be subordinate to Marifil’s current NSR.
The Minera NSR may be re-acquired by Marifil in stages for US$2 million. The Agreement also provides for scheduled payments by Marifil towards the Option exercise price at six month intervals.
Additionally, Minera Esperanza is actively developing a fracking sand project on a part of the Carachi Pampa IV claim that lies south of the salar shoreline.
On exercise of the Option, Minera Esperanza will retain its interest in non-brine minerals extracted from the Lithium Properties, such silica sands, provided that Marifil will maintain its original 1% NSR on such products.
Minera Esperanza’s sand fracking operations are partnered with a substantial Argentine private trucking company, with the aim to serve Argentina’s burgeoning oil shale well drilling industry.
The development of this high quality sand project has advanced to the stage of commercialization.
Source: Company Press Release.