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Latin Resources enhances lithium strategy in Argentina with additional prospects

The company has signed a term sheet to secure five new concessions in San Luis Province.
Condor pegmatites
Multiple close-spaced thick pegmatites on one of the Condor concessions

Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) is enhancing its lithium strategy in Argentina by seeking an additional five concessions close to its existing San Luis Province projects.

The Condor lithium concessions comprise 44,177 hectares in the northeast of the Sierra de San Luis and in the vicinity of historic lithium mines.

Latin now controls more than 145,000 hectares of lithium prospective tenements in San Luis and 294,000 hectares in Argentina.

Binding term sheet is signed

The company has signed a binding terms sheet with Kontrarian Resources Fund No 1 to secure the tenements for total consideration of $3.5 million in cash and shares.

Chris Gale, managing director, said: “The acquisition of the Condor concessions is further to Latin Resources’ strategy of building scale by controlling all of the known hard rock lithium pegmatites in Argentina.

“Latin Resources is very focused on developing a JORC resource and then moving into production to take advantage of the buoyant and high lithium prices.”

READ: Latin Resources receives approvals paving way for lithium drilling

The area hosts known historical lithium pegmatite mines that produced spodumene concentrate grading 6.3% to 8.1% lithium carbonate, including La Meta and Cabeza de Novilla.

Many smaller-scale pegmatite outcrops are evident within the concessions with some larger bodies being exploited by open pit mining for feldspar and quartz.

Latin’s geological staff recently examined close-spaced pegmatites with thicknesses up to 30 metres and extending for more than a kilometre in strike.

Pegmatites considered prospective

Given the location and proximity to known spodumene occurrences, these pegmatites are considered prospective for lithium mineralisation.

The area is within Sierras Pampeanas geological province which contains more than 95% of Argentina’s pegmatites and has historically been the source of spodumene, beryl, quartz, feldspar muscovite and tantalite.

Latin Resources is securing additional concessions in San Luis Province.

Until now, there has been little to no modern exploration on the concessions and Latin intends to incorporate them into its grassroots exploration plan for 2018.

This will include detailed mapping and geochemical sampling to identify prospective zones for follow-up drilling.

READ: Latin Resources attracts investors as news flows from Argentina and Peru

San Luis Province has an established small mining industry that produces quartz and feldspar for the glass and ceramics industry from hundreds of small mines.

There are circa eight crushing/grinding plants that process and sell minerals up the value chain for the ceramics and glass industry.

Processing options

Latin is in discussions with plant owners/operators to enable a spodumene circuit to be added to an existing crushing plant.

It has recently appointed Western Australian-based Primero Group, a turnkey design, construction and commission engineering company with experience on hard rock spodumene deposits.

The brief for Primero is to start test work on Latin’s spodumene samples to determine a flowsheet to produce a spodumene concentrate.

Use of an existing plant would negate the normally lengthy process of mine plant approvals based on building a new plant as well as provide cost-saving benefits.

Gale said the acquisition coupled with other lithium pegmatite projects and plant processing capacity presented a unique opportunity to fast-track production of spodumene concentrate.

READ: Latin Resources adds significant value to portfolio as it focuses on battery mineral assets

The company has recently positioned itself to take advantage of the production of battery minerals by divesting its Peruvian copper assets. 

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