Canada-based natural resources company Argentina Lithium & Energy has exercised options to secure a 100% stake in the Rincon West, Antofalla North and Pocitos lithium projects in Argentina.
These lithium properties are located in Salta Province, north-west Argentina, within the Lithium Triangle.
Argentina Lithium exercised the options early through its subsidiary ALE, in which it holds an 80.1% stake, with the remaining stake held by Peugeot Citroen Argentina, a unit of automaker Stellantis.
The option for Rincon West/Pocitos comprises 2390.5 hectares (ha) of land at Argentina Lithium’s Rincon West project.
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It also includes 15,857ha of properties within the company’s Pocitos project. Presently, the project is undergoing a 170 line-km transient electromagnetic geophysical survey to map the subsurface for future drill targeting.
Announced in September 2021, the option was conditional on a cash payment of $4.2m along with an issue of shares with C$700,000 ($515,259).
The company had also paid $1.3m for the option, issued shares and has now paid the remaining balance of $2.9m.
With the last payment, Argentina Lithium has now been granted 100% ownership of the Villanoveño II property along with the subsequently awarded Demasia Villanoveño II and 11 properties designated as Pocitos 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209 and 211.
The option for Pipo/Alcalina covers 5380.5ha of land within its Antofalla North project. The company had recently announced plans for accelerated exploration to be conducted next year.
The company reached the option deal in August 2021 and it covers three mining concessions totalling 5,380.5ha of land.
This option was conditional upon payment of $4m over 42 months along with a commitment for $7m in work expenditure.
Previously, the company had paid $8m in option payments and has now paid the remaining balance of $3.2m.
Conditions for work commitments have been waived and cash exercise of the Pipo/Alcalina option delivered 100% ownership of the Alcalina V, Pipo I and Pipo II properties at the Antofalla North project.
The option was finalised by making the outstanding cash payments specified in the option agreement. The original owners retain a 2% net smelter royalty on the properties, which the company can purchase for $5m.
Argentina Lithium CEO Nikolaos Cacos said: “Exercising the options at Rincon West and Antofalla North is a key step to advance planning and development of our two core projects. Drilling on the optioned property at Rincon West has verified the grade potential of the concentrated lithium aquifer.
“Drilling is pending at Antofalla North; however, our geophysics demonstrates a deep salar basin and we are confident in the prospectivity for lithium brines, so we have set ambitious plans to advance the project. We have funding secured to fully explore these two projects, and our partner, Stellantis, is entirely supportive of our approach.”
Last month, the company agreed to acquire a 100% interest in two new mining concessions on salars in Argentina from local vendors.