The company’s strategy is to develop projects with suitable joint venture (JV) partners and with nearly 270,000 hectares of concessions in Argentina it has numerous options.
In executing this strategy, management established several relationships in the last 12 months and remains at various stages of negotiation in terms of finalising new deals.
In particular, the company is in discussions with a number of different parties in relation to JV agreements or offtake arrangements in respect of its lithium assets in Argentina.
266,000 hectares of lithium prospects in Argentina
Latin Resources has secured over 266,000 hectares of exploration concessions in the lithium pegmatite districts of Catamarca, San Luis and Salta Provinces, Argentina.
The company also has 28,000 hectares prospective for cobalt in La Rioja, Argentina.
Such is the diversification of Latin Resources that its portfolio of projects also extends to Peru.
The company is progressing its iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and copper porphyry projects in the Ilo region with JV partner First Quantum Minerals Limited (TSE:FM).
Las Cuevas an important addition
In recent weeks the company signed a letter of intent to acquire the Las Cuevas concessions in the province of San Luis, Argentina.
This could be an important development for the company given the quality of mineralisation that has previously been delineated.
The Las Cuevas mine has been historically linked to lithium mining in San Luis and contains high-grade lithium-bearing pegmatites.
One of Argentina’s largest producers
Las Cuevas has been operating sporadically via quarrying and underground methods since 1952 when it first came into production.
Over its life, it has been one of the largest producers of spodumene, beryl and tantalite in Argentina.
Discussing the significance of the proposed acquisition in the context of the company’s broader strategy, managing director Chris Gale said: “A further acquisition of a known lithium mine is continuing to build the Latin Resources strategy of controlling all of the known hard rock lithium pegmatites in Argentina.
“We now control the largest lithium hard rock concession base in Argentina.
“Latin Resources is very focused on moving forward to developing a JORC resource and then moving into production to take advantage of the buoyant and high lithium prices.”
Development of resource at Maria del Huerto
Management has flagged a JV and/or an offtake agreement depending on the outcome of negotiations which would see the start of an aggressive exploration program.
This would primarily relate to the San Luis projects.
The main focus is to develop a resource at Maria del Huerto and the Las Cuevas mining concessions.
Analysis of the 20 samples from Maria del Huerto has revealed grades of up to 1.93% lithium.
Resource estimate within four months of drilling
Management recently advised that further work on the drill hole designs at Maria del Huerto has resulted in an optimised drilling plan.
It is expected that this will position the company to establish a resource estimate within four months from the commencement of drilling.
This will also provide feedstock for analysts at Primero to conduct necessary metallurgical test work.
Latin Resources has appointed Primero Consulting Engineers to carry out a high-level scoping study for its lithium pegmatite projects.
Pilot plant construction
The company has also made progress in terms of its goal to convert spodumene concentrate to a lithium carbonate product for the lithium battery market.
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo has commenced construction of the test bench process pilot plant.
Major items including main reactor, reagents and spodumene concentrate have been acquired for the initial project with financial assistance provided by Latin Resources.
Completion of the pilot plant build is imminent and this will be followed by trials, the results of which will be important for Latin Resources.
The ability to demonstrate successful processing of the style of mineralisation that is typical of the region where it is mining could be a share price catalyst.