Lithium miner Lepidico has signed a binding term sheet with Grupo Mota to conduct drilling at Alvarrões lepidolite mine near Guarda city in north-east Portugal.
Activities will help confirm JORC Code compliant mineral resources as potential feed for future L-Max processing facilities.
Under the agreement, Lepidico will spend a minimum of €250,000 on exploration and drilling over an 18-month exclusive period. Alvarrões represents a drill ready target with open-pit mining of lepidolite having occurred over a strike length of more than 1km.
The exploration campaign will also include evaluation of material from waste dumps, tailings and mine spill.
Lepidico managing director Joe Walsh said: "The company is very much looking forward to working with Grupo Mota, one of Europe’s most highly respected and long-established ceramic industry suppliers.
"With successful exploration at Alvarrões, we hope to identify significant additional feed material for our future L-Max facilities and Grupo Mota’s ceramics business."
Grupo Mota is the owner and operator of the Alvarrões lepidolite mine.
Grupo Mota CEO Carlos Mota said: “We believe this is the first step to a long-term partnership with Lepidico.
“We are confident that the exploration and drilling activities in Alvarrões will result in the identification of lithium minerals to feed the future L-Max facilities.”
Grupo Mota produces nearly 20,000t per annum of lithium minerals mainly lepidolite from this property.
The Alvarrões lithium mine is situated in the Seixo Amarelo-Gonçalo (SAG) rare element pegmatite district of the Central Iberian Zone in north-east Portugal.
Lepidico claims that the potentiality of the location for large-scale mining to produce lithium has not been evaluated to date.
Around 95% of the known SAG pegmatite veins are sub-horizontal sills with a sub-horizontal plunge, which ranges up to 3.5m in thickness. Featuring aplito-pegmatitic texture, these sills are composed of quartz, feldspar, muscovite and varying amounts of minerals of Li, Be, Nb, Ta and Sn.
With an area of around 64ha, the Alvarrões mining concession includes most of the known outcropping lithium pegmatites in the area.
Image: Alvarrões lepidolite mine in Guarda area, Portugal. Photo: courtesy of Lepidico.