Latin Resources (ASX:LRS), an Australia-based mineral exploration company, is aiming to make a mark in global carbon reduction efforts through mineral projects that advance efforts toward net-zero emissions, and a corporate value that upholds the highest environmental, social and governance standards.
Lithium plays an important role in decarbonization goals, particularly for its application in lithium-ion batteries used for energy storage in renewable energy technologies. Demand for lithium continues to increase, with prices in 2022 reaching 430 percent higher year-on-year and expected to rise by 22 percent in 2026 due to shortages in raw materials. This rising demand is driven by the global energy transformation movement and provides significant opportunity for emerging new projects entering this space.
Latin Resources’ flagship Salinas Lithium Project is located 10 kilometers outside the town of Salinas, northeast of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The project’s Colina Lithium Deposit has a maiden JORC Mineral Resource Estimate of 13.3 million tonnes (Mt) @ 1.2 percent lithium oxide (indicated and inferred).
Salinas is 80 kilometers away from Sigma Lithium’s (TSXV:SGML) Grota do Cirilo property, which is on track to becoming one of the world’s largest lithium producers. Sigma has a world-class lithium resource base of 85.7 Mt @ 1.43 percent lithium oxide, with an average production of 766 kilo-tonnes per annum (ktpa) and a 13-year mine life. Sigma’s latest definitive feasibility study shows an after-tax net present value (8 percent) of US$15.3 billion and internal rate of return of 1,273 percent.
Latin Resources’ trajectory, demonstrated by significant upside potential from its maiden resource estimate and exploration targets, paints a parallel picture to Sigma Lithium’s Grota do Cirilo project.
As of February 2023, Latin Resources has expanded its lithium ground position to more than 38,000 hectares, a 367 percent increase, after it recently secured a large package of new tenements in the highly prospective Bananal Valley district in eastern Brazil. Through a new option agreement, the company has also secured additional mining rights directly adjacent to the South of Colina, where drilling by the company has confirmed the extension of the Colina host lithologies and pegmatitic intrusive bodies (assay results pending). The company’s regional exploration team will be undertaking initial reconnaissance mapping and geochemical sampling over the new project tenements as part of its exploration strategy in the now-expanded Salinas district.
The company released the final assay results from the 2022 resource drilling at the Colina prospect, which confirmed the continuity of high-grade at depth and along strike. In January 2023, Latin Resources commenced a new 65,000-meter mineral resource expansion drill program at Salinas. The program will focus on fast-tracking the growth of the Colina indicated and inferred mineral resource, as well as define a mineral resource for the Colina West Prospect. More than 3,000 meters of the planned 65,000-meter drilling have been completed to date, with initial results confirming high-grade mineralization envelope. The Colina Exploration Target Range is 13.3 Mt to 22 Mt @ 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent lithium oxide.
SGS Geological Services, Canada is undertaking a preliminary economic assessment on the company’s Colina Prospect. Upon successful completion of the PEA, Latin Resources anticipates progressing directly to a definitive feasibility study.
SGS is also carrying out a metallurgical test work program at the Salinas Lithium project. Test work completed to date has demonstrated exceptional metallurgy with more than 80 percent recovery of lithium oxide, and extremely high-grade lithium oxide concentrate of up to 6.6 percent from simple heavy liquid separation. In a statement, the company’s head of exploration Tony Greenaway calls the results “extremely encouraging,” and notes that while they cannot be directly translated to an operational environment, the implications for marketability and the economics are significant.
The company plans to commission SGS to build a Dense Media Separation (DMS) pilot plant in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais and provide potential offtake customers with a representative lithium concentrate product.
The Company signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2023 with the Minas Gerais State Economic Development Department (SEDE) and the Minas Gerais Integrated Development Institute (INDI) together referred to as Invest Minas. The purpose of the MoU is to provide mutual support between the parties to support the battery materials sector and supply chain investment in the region, including two-way introductions and investment partnerships in the region.
This partnership reinforces the existing cooperation between Latin and the State of Minas Gerais and assists with streamlining the approvals pathway for Latin to take the Colina Deposit through feasibility studies and into production provides significant opportunity for the development of both the project and the region.
The company’s Cloud Nine Halloysite-Kaolin Deposit near Merredin, Western Australia, presents an exciting opportunity as a globally significant kaolin-halloysite project located in Australia. Cloud Nine has the potential to be the largest undeveloped halloysite/ kaolin deposit in Australia, with an upgraded mineral resource estimate of 280 Mt of kaolinised granite, a 33 percent increase from the May 2021 global estimate of 207 Mt. The mineral resource contains 116 Mt of bright white kaolinite-bearing material in the indicated and inferred classifications.
Latin Resources has confirmed outstanding kaolin brightness results from the Cloud Nine infill drilling in 2022. Significant thicknesses of exceptionally bright kaolinised granite were intersected, highlighting the quality of the world class Cloud Nine Halloysite.
The company is now working to pursue potential offtake customers, which will include options to supply short-term products as well as value-added processed kaolin and halloysite products in the longer-term.
Latin Resources earlier signed an innovative $3.2 million research project with Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) to develop methane reduction technologies using the clay mineral halloysite from its Cloud Nine Halloysite-Kaolin Deposit. This project enables Latin Resources to mine halloysite while undertaking initiatives to address the global need to reduce emissions.
In Argentina, Latin Resources holds a joint venture agreement with Argentinian investment group Integra Capital on the Catamarca Lithium project in Argentina. Integra Capital has the option to acquire 50 percent interest in the Catamarca project on an investment of US$1 million. The Catamarca Lithium project is a high-grade lithium pegmatite project with the potential to host world-class deposits.
The company’s geological team recently conducted on-ground reconnaissance field work at the Catamarca project, which highlighted priority areas for the planned extended fieldwork campaign to include detailed and systematic geological mapping and follow-up geochemical surface sampling to better understand the scale of the high-grade lithium pegmatite system encountered during the company’s 2017 drilling program.
Latin Resources will embark on a community engagement campaign to provide the local community stakeholders with information on the planned recommencement of exploration work at Catamarca Lithium project. A network of liaison offices will be established to serve as an information resource and conduit for feedback for the communities pertaining to the project.
Latin Resources is committed to strengthening its environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials, and becoming a valuable supplier of the minerals needed to cut global emissions and support the green economy. Latin Resources is focused on ensuring that its operations positively impact the environment, the sustainability of the businesses and the products that it creates. The company has a goal to meet and exceed its ESG framework and is utilizing the Socialsuite platform to monitor and report on its ESG disclosure progress.
- Latin Resources aims to become a contributor to global carbon reduction efforts through mineral projects that advance net-zero emissions goals, including lithium, halloysite, kaolin and copper.
- The company has increased its lithium ground position to more than 38,000 hectares for its Salinas Lithium Project in Brazil, after securing a large package of new tenements in the Bananal Valley district in eastern Brazil.
- Salinas’s Colina lithium deposit has a maiden JORC Mineral Resource Estimate of 13.3 million tonnes (Mt) @ 1.2 percent lithium oxide (indicated and inferred).
- The company entered into a non-binding MoU with the Minas Gerais State Economic Development Department (SEDE) and the Minas Gerais Integrated Development Institute (INDI) together referred to as Invest Minas.
- The company’s Cloud Nine Halloysite-Kaolin Deposit in Western Australia has an upgraded mineral resource estimate of 280 Mt of kaolinised granite.
- The company has engaged in an innovative $3.2 million research project with CRC CARE for the development of methane reduction technologies using the clay mineral halloysite from Cloud Nine.
- Exploration field work at the Catamarca Lithium Project in Argentina has recommenced, and a community engagement campaign is underway.
- The company is committed to an ESG framework and supplying the green economy with the minerals needed to cut global emissions.
Salinas Lithium Project, Brazil
Latin Resource’s flagship Salinas Lithium Project is a high-grade lithium pegmatite project located in the Bananal Valley of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The company has a strategic landholding of more than 38,000 hectares.
The Salinas Lithium Project is accessible by air and land, and features powerlines, hydraulics, and a power station. The project is strategically located in a superior mining district that is underexplored and near Sigma Lithium’s (TSXV:SGML) 85.7-million-tonne mineral resource at the Grota do Cirilo property in Minas Gerais. The Brazil Lithium Pegmatite projects are also located near Companhia Brasileira de Lítio’s producing spodumene pegmatite mine.
- Resource Estimate: Maiden JORC mineral resource estimate of 13.3 Mt @ 1.2 percent lithium oxide (indicated and inferred).
- 2023 Drill Program: 65,000-meter 2023 drilling program has commenced at the Colina deposit with more than 32,000 meters already completed.
- Mineral Resources Estimate Upgrade: Scheduled for June 2023, incorporating new drilling which extends the existing mineralisation at Colina.
- Metallurgical Test Work: Demonstrated exceptional metallurgy with more than 80 percent recovery of lithium oxide, and high-grade lithium oxide concentrate of up to 6.6 percent from simple heavy liquid separation.
- Memorandum of Understanding: Signing of non-binding MoU with Minas Gerais Government to aid in fast tracking approvals.
- Preliminary Economic Assessment: Paused to enable incorporation of expanded MRE.
Systematic resource definition drilling is progressing well, with the high-grade pegmatite swarm extending over an area of approximately one kilometer by one kilometer to a depth of 400m below surface, open in all directions. The Colina West prospect has six rigs drilling 24 hours a day, to enable the resource upgrade planned for June to be completed on time.
The Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minas Gerais State Economic Development Department (SEDE) and the Minas Gerais Integrated Development Institute (INDI) together referred to as Invest Minas. The MoU facilitates the growth of the Salinas Project through the facilitation of land tenure securement, approvals and suppliers in return for Latin’s development of the battery materials sector throughout the area.
Latin Resources plans to expand the Project tenure by approximately 367 percent, through 17 new applications of a large package of tenements covering an area of more than 29.940 hectares.
Cloud Nine Halloysite-Kaolin Deposit, Merredin, Western Australia
Cloud Nine is a globally significant and high-grade kaolin-halloysite project located near Merredin, less than 300 kilometers from the city of Perth. Cloud Nine is easily accessible by port and highway and contains similar geology to Andromeda Metals’ (ASX:ADN) prospective projects in South Australia.
- Resource Estimate: Upgraded mineral estimate of 280 Mt of kaolinised granite:
- in situ indicated mineral resource of 70 Mt kaolinised granite at an average brightness (ISO-B) of 81
- in situ inferred mineral resource of 210 Mt kaolinised granite at an average ISO-B grade of 79, which includes 85 Mt high-grade portion with an average halloysite grade of 4 percent
- Offtake Agreements: Negotiations with potential offtake customers are underway with options to supply products in the short-term and supply value-added processed kaolin and halloysite in the longer term.
- 2022 Infill Drilling Results: Outstanding kaolin brightness results with brightness values above 85 ISO-B, and about 66 percent of the drill holes analyzed returning results above 80 ISO-B.
- Environmental, Social and Governance: A $3.2 million research project with CRC Care commenced in January 2022 to develop methane-reduction technologies using the clay mineral halloysite from the Cloud Nine deposit.
Latin Resources has already begun a pre-feasibility study on the property and has completed the mineral resource infill and extension drill campaign sampling.
In its commitment to ESG credentials, Latin Resources has signed an innovative three-year $3.2-million research project with CRC CARE for the development of methane reduction technologies using the clay mineral halloysite from the Cloud Nine deposit. The research project commenced in January 2022 and under the agreement, CRC CARE will explore the use of halloysite for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and thereafter develop practical technologies.
This project enables Latin Resources to mine halloysite while addressing the global need to reduce GHG emissions. “The potential for our Cloud Nine halloysite to be part of the suite of global solutions is significant. We are exceptionally excited by the commercial potential of the CRC R&D opportunity,” said Latin Resources’ executive director Chris Gale.
Catamarca Lithium Project, Argentina
The Catamarca Lithium project is a joint venture high-grade lithium pegmatite project located in the Catamarca province in Argentina. Integra Capital has the option to acquire 50 percent interest in the Catamarca project on an investment of US$1 million.
The project spans over 70,000 hectares and includes the Ancasti and Villisman projects.
- Underexplored, with Vast Potential: Spanning more than 70,000 hectares, including the Ancasti and Villisman projects, the property hosts underexplored spodumene pegmatite swarms with the potential to host world-class deposits.
- Recommencing Exploration Work: Planned fieldwork campaign to include detailed and systematic geological mapping and follow-up geochemical surface sampling to better understand the scale of the high-grade lithium pegmatite system encountered during the company’s 2017 drilling program.
- Community Engagement Campaign: Providing local community stakeholders information on the planned exploration work; an network of liaison offices will be established as a conduit between the company and the community.
David Vilensky – Non-executive Chairman
David Vilensky is a practicing corporate lawyer and an experienced director with publicly listed companies. He is the managing director of Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky which is a law firm based in Perth. Vilensky has more than 35 years of experience in the areas of corporate and business law and commercial and corporate management.
Today, Vilensky practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law, corporate advisory, mergers and acquisitions, mining and resources and complex dispute resolution.
Vilensky acts for several publicly listed companies and advises on directors’ duties, due diligence, capital raisings, compliance with ASX listing rules, corporate governance and general corporate transactions.
Vilensky is also a non-executive director of Vonex Ltd (ASX:VN8), an ASX-listed telecommunications and technology company.
Christopher Gale – Managing Director
Christopher Gale has held various board and executive roles at several mining and technology companies during his 30-year career. Gale was the chairman of the Council on Australian Latin American Relations (COALAR) established by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 2012 to 2018.
He is currently executive director of Latin Resources Limited, chairman of Solis Minerals and Oar Resources Limited. He is also a founding director of Allegra Capital, a boutique corporate advisory firm based in Perth and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Brent Jones – Non-executive Director
Brent Jones is an experienced financial service professional. Jones has held operating roles at Woolworths, AFL, Civil Engineers – Ostojic Group and the National Tax and Accountants’ Association before joining Latin Resources.
Over the past 13 years, Jones has been the joint managing director of InterPrac Limited, an unlisted public company, specializing in providing the accounting industry with access to financial services products and distribution capabilities.
Jones has a degree in information technology and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Jones is also a member of the National Tax and Accountants Association.
Pablo Tarantini – Non-executive Director
Pablo Tarantini has accumulated broad professional experience in the mining industry. For two years, he served as executive director of the Argentinian Bureau of Investment and International Trade. At the Argentinian Bureau of Investment and International Trade, Tarantini coordinated investment initiatives and contributed his vast experience in several industries and countries. In that role, Tarantini also worked together with mining companies settled in the country and supported the promotion of mining activity in Argentina along with the Argentinian secretary of mining.
He has served as president and executive director of SAPISA and Minera Don Nicolás. SAPISA is an Argentinian private fund and Minera Don Nicolás is one of SAPISA’s investments in the mining sector. Minera Don Nicolas is also the first mining project based on the Argentinian capital. He has also served as the M&A director at General Electric and Advent International Corporation for Latin America. Tarantini was also the manager at A.T. Kearney. In all these roles, he carried out business and projects at the regional level.
Tarantini is a public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA). He has a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Peter Oliver – Non-executive Director
For the last 15 years Peter Oliver has been CEO/managing director of Talison Lithium and then a corporate adviser to Tianqi Lithium. In this role, he assisted Tianqi both in its M&A activity and in recruiting key personnel to establish Tianqi’s growing presence outside of China.
With a background in chemistry, Oliver’s early career was in operational mining roles, with a focus on process improvements and structural optimisation. This included roles as general manager of Talison’s Greenbushes and Wodgina mines and as COO of Talison.
Through his career Oliver has built an extensive skill set in mining operations, developing and leading strong corporate teams, managing a public company, and acting as an adviser in corporate structures and global M&A and financing.
Tony Greenaway – General Manager, Geology
Tony Greenaway is a senior geologist with broad experience gained over 23 years covering operations in Australia (WA and Lachlan Fold), Africa, South America (Chile), Central America (Mexico) and Asia (Indonesia).
The skillset that Greenaway brings to Latin provides significant operational and managerial strength that will enable the company to progress its current portfolio of projects.
Sarah Smith – Company Secretary
Sarah Smith is a chartered accountant with significant experience in the administration of ASX-listed companies. Smith is also heavily experienced in capital raisings, IPOs, due diligence reviews and ASIC compliance. Smith has acted as the company secretary for several ASX-listed companies. Smith also holds a Bachelor of Business.
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