Diversified explorer Arcadia Minerals’ (ASX:AM7) 50% owned associate Brines Mining and Exploration (BME) has exercised the second option and completed the acquisition of the entire issued shares of Bitterwasser Lithium Exploration.
The $11.52 million capitalisation company says this acquisition increases its interest to 100% in the Bitterwasser Lithium Clay Project in Namibia, which has overall mineral resources that pan 327,284 lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) tons.
Arcadia reports these mineral resources cover only 2 of 14 known pans present in the Bitterwasser Pan District and are expected to increase with further exploration over other pans over the upcoming 6 months.
Planned exploration includes in-fill drilling over the Eden pan with the purpose of possibly upgrading the mineral resource into the indicated mineral resource category.
A pre-economic assessment / Scoping Study is also being planned over the lithium clay potential in conjunction with exploration at the Eden pan.
Terms of the acquisition agreement include BME being entitled to appoint 2 directors out of 3 until completion of the terms of the acquisition.
BME also had the right and a second option to conduct further exploration operations for an additional 2-year period after completing the first option to acquire the balance of the equity interests in BLE of 75% for a consideration of N$2 million subject to further funding being raised.
The company also notes it must pay an additional consideration equal to N$7 million upon completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) over a resource containing not less than 500,000 tons of LCE arising from potential lithium-in-brines resident under the clay licences.
After exercising the first option, in which Arcadia acquired the initial 25% interest in BLE for a consideration of N$1 million, work conducted over the licences of the project found that an increase in the mineral resource announced at the time of the acquisition is likely.
Work also uncovered the orebody is conducive to processing methodologies.
Addressing the acquisition, Arcadia Minerals Executive Chairman Jurie Wessels says: “Following the approval of shareholders on 5 April 2022, we’ve intensely explored and investigated the prospects of the Lithium-in-clay project which has given rise to an increase in our confidence in the mineral resource, its potential and its intrinsic features.
“Combined with the potential of the Lithium in Brines project we are optimistic that the Bitterwasser District will become a valued asset for the company“
As a result, we’ve decided to complete the transaction through BME exercising the second option and effectively acquiring 100% of the Bitterwasser Clay Project. Our objectives are now to continue exploration over the area and to conduct the necessary studies to understand the economic potential of the project. Combined with the potential of the Lithium in Brines project we are optimistic that the Bitterwasser District will become a valued asset for the company.”
Meanwhile, completion of this acquisition comes in conjunction with the identification of additional mineralised pegmatites identified near its Swanson Tantalite Project in Namibia, Africa.
Arcadia announces the total number of prospective pegmatites under investigation are 200, with the current grab sampling campaign focused around the existing Swanson tantalum/lithium (Ta/Li) pegmatites.
It is here where a previously reported JORC resource, completed DFS and mine construction has begun.
Initial field work on only 8 pegmatites has identified tantalum rich pegmatites over Arcadia’s exclusive prospecting licence (EPL’s) 5047 and EPL 7295, with the aim of increasing the mineral resources and identifying tantalum and lithium rich pegmatites for targeted drilling.
Key results returned so far include pegmatite D with 21,839 parts per million (ppm) tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) and 4,911ppm Ta2O5; and pegmatite G with 2,498ppm Ta2O5(5).
Commenting on exploration at Swanson, Arcadia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Philip le Roux says: “We are very encouraged by the identification of a significant number of mineralised pegmatites as result of our teams’ field work. Of particular interest is the elevated levels of tantalum mineralisation near our Swanson Tantalum mining project and the great number of LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) pegmatites identified through field work where we’ve covered only a small proportion of the ground available to us.
“Of particular interest is the elevated levels of tantalum mineralisation near our Swanson Tantalum mining project and the great number of LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) pegmatites identified through field work where we’ve covered only a small proportion of the ground available to us“
Our work will now focus on determining the geometry of the mineralised pegmatites, the extent of mineralisation and to possibly discover more mineralised pegmatites to prioritise drill targets.”
Arcadia Minerals is an ASX-listed Namibia-focused diversified explorer focused on the discovery of battery metals.
The company’s Swanson project is located in the Karas Region in the southern part of Namibia, about 15km north of the Orange River.
Arcadia Minerals had $282,000 cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 June 2023, though the company in August launched a $1.5 million share placement.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Arcadia Minerals