International Lithium (ILC) has agreed to divest its remaining 8.58% stake in Litio Miñera Argentina (LMA) to Ganfeng Lithium Netherlands, for $13.16m in cash.

Litio Miñera Argentina owns the Mariana lithium project in Argentina.

Ganfeng Lithium Netherlands is a subsidiary of China-based Ganfeng Lithium.

ILC will also sell other rights, including the right to acquire an additional 10% in the Mariana project, as well as use $3.16m of the sale proceeds to repay an exploration loan it had taken in 2014 from Ganfeng unit GFL International.

Part of the proceeds will also be used to finance the exploration of the 100%-owned Raleigh Lake lithium and rubidium project in Ontario, Canada.

Comprising more than 17,000ha of adjoining mineral claims in the province, the Raleigh Lake project comprises spodumene-bearing lithium pegmatites.

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By GlobalData

ILC chairman and CEO John Wisbey said: “We are certainly pleased with the price of C$16.8m equivalent achieved for our share in the Mariana asset, and above all, for the potential this gives us for funding our other strategic projects, including our lithium and rubidium project at our 100%-owned Raleigh Lake project near Ignace, Ontario.

“We had maiden drilling results at Raleigh Lake earlier this year with very promising results, especially the levels of rubidium oxide, and we have recently significantly expanded our claims there to 170km², reflecting our belief in the potential of that project.”

The decision to divest the remaining stake follows the completion of a strategic review of the options.

It was primarily driven by Ganfeng’s $575m investment plans in the Mariana project over the next three years.

Wisbey added: “This transaction puts ILC in the strongest financial position it has been in since its formation, and it is our hope that this is a key milestone for building a very exciting company in the next few years.”