Askari Metals has signed a binding heads of agreement with Earth Dimensions Consulting to acquire an 80 per cent interest in a lithium prospective tenement near the town of Uis in Namibia, southwest Africa.
The tenure is peppered with visible spodumene mineralisation on its surface with previous rock chip assays delivering high-grade results of up to 3.2 per cent lithium oxide, 663 parts per million tantalum and 1640 ppm rubidium.
Notably, these bumper grades could represent just the tip of the iceberg with only seven results reported of the 153 so far collected at the Uis project.
Askari now has a fully permitted 3,500m RC drilling program at the site and plans to vector in on the tenure’s ample surficial mineralisation with the probe. The company says the campaign could kick off as early as next month.
The ASX-listed junior’s new Nambian ground covers a land position of 194.59 square kilometres and is located directly along strike of an operating tin, tantalum and lithium mine owned by AfriTin Mining. AfriTin’s asset hosts a mineral resource of 71.54 million tonnes at 0.63 per cent lithium oxide, 0.134 per cent tin and 85ppm tantalum.
Importantly, the purchase bolsters the strategic footprint of Askari’s newly acquired Uis lithium project to more than 308 square kilometres in a distinguished mineral field that has already been established to host lithium, tantalum, tin and rubidium.
The project is located about 230km by road to the deep water port of Walvis Bay on Africa’s western coast. The position means any ore mined could be readily mobilised to potential customers.
News of the acquisition follows a suite of commercial activity that has seen the explorer seal an agreement with private company LexRox Exploration Services to acquire a 90 per cent stake in its advanced Uis lithium, tantalum and tin project in Namibia.
Much like its newly secured tenement, Uis hosts visible spodumene mineralisation at surface with a previous rock chip sampling program delivering some significant results including 3.1 per cent lithium oxide, 3.2 per cent tin, 452ppm tantalum and 3387ppm rubidium.
It’s proving to be a busy time of year for Askari after recently inking a strategic deal with Shanghai-listed lithium-heavyweight Zhejiang Kanglongda Special Protection Technology. Zhejiang boasts a market cap of around US$1 billion and also holds a 51 per cent stake in Jiangxi Tiancheng Lithium Industry – a company focused on extracting lithium sulphate solutions.
As part of the tie-up, Zhejiang will assist Askari with downstream lithium processing in addition to providing capital to fund its future development initiatives. In exchange, if Askari commences mining, Zhejiang will be crowned as its preferred offtake partner with the ore sold at market prices.
To acquire a second advanced exploration licence within 2.5km from an operating mine sharing the same geology and mineralised pegmatites is remarkable, and something that the Company is very proud of achieving. The Uis Lithium Project not only boasts exceptional lithium, tantalum, tin and rubidium mineralisation but is located less than 230km from the deep water port of Walvis Bay.
Askari Metals Executive Director, Gino D’Anna
Askari’s latest battery metal acquisition has bookended a frantic year for the company, which in 12 months has picked up a handful of other lithium projects and demonstrated an almost insatiable appetite for the in-vogue commodity.
The company has its ears pinned back in the hunt for global lithium projects and based on a recent report by Benchmark Minerals it’s not hard to understand why. According to the study, the world will need more than twenty times the amount of lithium than was mined last year to satisfy 2050 demands and Askari is looking to answer the call.