Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) has taken another step towards establishing a resource for its highly prospective targets in Argentina by signing a preliminary agreement with San Luis province.
This agreement further enhances the co-operative relationship being developed between the company and the province of San Luis and is a precursor to the issue of long-awaited drill permits.
It assists in establishing parameters for issuing the permits, which would enable the company to begin exploration activities as it aims to develop a sustainable local mining industry.
This industry would be based around known lithium deposits in the locality of the company’s projects known as Geminis, Don Gregorio and Maria Del Huerto.
“An important milestone”
Managing director Chris Gale said: “We are extremely pleased by the signing of this agreement with the Province of San Luis.
“It is an important milestone which is the first step to commence work on our lithium projects in San Luis.
“Upon the approval of the drilling permits for our San Luis projects the company will move forward with our objective of developing our maiden JORC resource.”
The new agreement follows a social and environmental agreement reached last November with the communities of San Francisco and Rio Gomez in the province.
With the preliminary agreement signed, the company’s authorised representative will enter discussions with the provincial government with the objective of signing a more detailed MOU setting out the criteria to develop a lithium industry.
After permits are issued drilling will begin on selected projects where drill targets have been identified.
Focus on Geminis and Don Gregorio projects
The Geminis and Don Gregorio projects remain the focus of Latin Resources’ exploration team in San Luis.
These tenements contain numerous large underexplored pegmatites with known spodumene mineralisation, most famously the Geminis Mine.
Latin Resources’ tenements in central Argentina.
Final stage testing complete
A team from UnCuyo University in Mendoza has completed final stage test work on a spodumene to lithium carbonate process pilot plant.
A report on the work highlights the establishment of optimal dissolution conditions to obtain a percentage of lithium carbonate extraction of 88%, with 90% of the maximum expected value with the patented procedure.
The optimal conditions of chemical precipitation and the filtration surface have also been identified.
Gale said: “We are also very excited about the success of the final test work conducted by the UnCuyo University on the spodumene to lithium carbonate technology.
“This will now lead us into building the next stage of proving up the commercial viability of a large-scale lithium carbonate operation.”
Peruvian approval imminent
In Peru, Latin Resources expects final government approval next month to develop exploration work to begin official drill permitting by First Quantum Minerals Limited (TSE:FM).
The drill design has been completed for a 5000-metre diamond drilling program to be conducted once permits have been approved.
With the Ausquest JV Copper Project in southern Peru, the transfer of concessions from Latin Resources to Canadian partner Westminster Resources Ltd (CVE:WMR) will be completed next month, enabling the JV arrangement to begin.
Westminster has entered a farm-In agreement with AusQuest Limited (ASX:AQD) covering five of the 36 Peruvian copper licences acquired by Westminster from Latin Resources, covering 4,900 hectares.
Gale added: “The corporate strategy of joint venturing our copper projects in Peru should also hopefully bring some positive news from our JV partners First Quantum and Westminster Resources once drilling starts on these exciting copper projects in one of the world’s largest copper provinces.”