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Australian mining company Cohiba Minerals has reached a binding agreement to acquire Maple Minerals, which owns four lithium and rare earth element properties in Ontario, Canada.

The deal awaits clearance from Cohiba’s shareholders, which is required for the issuance of nearly 1.5 billion ordinary shares and 750 million performance rights to Maple Minerals sellers.

Cohiba has also received a commitment from investors to raise $1.75m (A$2.68m) in capital, which will be delivered in two tranches.

Maple Minerals’ portfolio comprises the Big Rock, Rogers Creek, Ottertail and Gathering Lake projects, which cover a combined area of 148km².

Big Rock has nine claims spread across 3,611 hectares (ha) with significant lithium deposits estimated to be 9.9 metric tonnes at 1.04% of lithium carbonate (Li₂O₃).

The property includes mafic metasedimentary rocks close to peraluminous, S-type, fertile granite pluton.

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By GlobalData

Located 45km east of Georgia Lake pegmatite field, Rogers Creek comprises ten claims and is spread over 4,642ha.

Known for having the largest concentration of rare earth elements in Quebec, the site is also hosted by muscovite-bearing granite, which was identified as peraluminous fertile parental granite.

Ottertail has seven claims and covers 2,690ha, located within the same geological setting as the Superb Lake pegmatite field.

The field is known for its lithium and niobium/tantalum-bearing spodumene mineralisation.

Gathering Lake is situated 68km north-east of Nipigon and the spodumene-bearing pegmatites in this area are claimed to be lithium-caesium-tantalum type pegmatites.

There is also a strong potential for other rare earth elements such as niobium, tantalum, rubidium, beryllium and caesium.

The company plans to undertake a comprehensive field investigation later this year.

It will be supported by local geological consultants with experience in lithium terranes in Canada. 

Cohiba Minerals CEO Andrew Graham said: “Canada is forecast to be a significant supplier of critical minerals, including lithium, which is evidenced through the recent deal between Green Technology Metals (GT1) and LG Energy Solutions (LGES), which saw LGES invest A$20m in GT1 to become a substantial shareholder and major offtake partner.

“Following an extensive due diligence process we are confident that we have secured an exceptional portfolio of projects and look forward to undertaking some detailed reconnaissance work in the upcoming summer season.”