Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (FRA:XL5) has signed a transformational joint venture agreement with Argentinian investment group Integra Capital S.A. to advance Latin’s Catamarca lithium pegmatite projects in Argentina.
Integra is a prominent global resources and energy investor and one of Argentina’s largest lithium explorers and investors, holding more than 400,000 hectares of lithium brine projects in Jujuy and Catamarca provinces.
Exploration funding and cornerstone placement
The agreement will see Integra spend up to US$1 million (A$1.4 million) for a 50% interest in the Catamarca concessions under a joint venture which will underpin an aggressive exploration program, with the initial aim of delivering a maiden JORC resource.
Integra will also take a 10% cornerstone placement in Latin through its founder and president, Jose Luis Manzano.
Shareholder approval for the placement shares was obtained at Latin’s annual general meeting held on July 31, 2020.
As part of the placement, Latin will issue Integra one free attached listed option for each of the 100.2 million placement shares (exercisable at A$0.012 on or before December 31, 2022).
“Formidable team” to explore and develop projects
Latin executive director Chris Gale described the completion of the transaction with Integra as an exciting milestone for the company.
Gale added: “We welcome Integra as our new JV partner and largest shareholder which now places Latin along with Integra in a position to become a significant global lithium player.
“Integra’s financial capacity combined with our track record and exploration experience in Latin America makes us a formidable team with the ability to rapidly explore and develop our lithium projects.
“This deal has confirmed the confidence in our lithium projects in South America that will potentially take Latin to another level in the globally developing Electric Vehicle and Storage sector.”
Well established investment company
Founded in 1995, Integra has developed projects and ventures with private institutions and investors valued at more than US$16.5 billion.
The firm has developed a portfolio of assets in oil exploration and production, natural gas distribution, electricity generation and distribution.
Integra also has investments in uranium and copper, and provides services such as mergers and acquisitions, financial structuring, IPOs, due diligence procedures, debt and company restructuring.
The firm was attracted to Latin’s highly prospective and large-scale lithium tenement portfolio in Argentina, as well the company’s renowned 10-year operational experience in Latin America.
Project development plan
Following the release of a maiden JORC resource on the Catamarca lithium pegmatite projects, the joint venture focus will turn to project development, including feasibility, engineering and metallurgy studies to produce a lithium spodumene concentrate.
Latin has already developed a high-level scoping study with consulting engineers Primero Group for development of the Argentinian lithium assets.
Under the joint venture, Latin will be free-carried through initial exploration with financing for the construction of the processing plant equating to the percentage ownership agreement between Integra and Latin as per the project partnership at the time of the Final Investment Decision.