Wealth Minerals has signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance with state-owned National Mining Company of Chile (ENAMI) to develop and commercialise its projects in the Salar de Atacama and Laguna Verde.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will study and assess the properties in 24 months.
During the same period, the parties can elect to establish a partnership (JV) for the exploration, development, mining and marketing of products from the projects.
Wealth Minerals CEO Hendrik van Alphen said: “Not only are we now able to draw upon ENAMI’s experience and knowledge for successfully mining and processing resources in Chile, we have gained a strong state partner that can help fulfil our goals of full-scale development to achieve production of lithium and by-products in Chile.
“This will enable Wealth and ENAMI to meet the world’s growing demand for lithium and secure Chile’s position as a premier player in global lithium markets.”
Pursuant to the deal, an incorporated joint venture company could be set up, in which ENAMI will own 10% and have a 10% free-carried interest.
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Wealth Minerals is expected to hold the remaining 90% of the JV.
The parties will have to reach a definitive agreement within 24 months to define the framework for the formation and operation of the JV.
Current regulations in Chile do not permit exploitation of lithium by regular mining concessions.
The agreement will enable Wealth Minerals to apply for the permits required to explore, develop, produce and export lithium.