Lico Energy Metals (LIC.V) moved its expand its portfolio when the Vancouver-based exploration company announced today that it had signed a definitive option agreement to acquire a lithium exploration concession in Salar de Atacama, Chile, the world’s largest and purest source of lithium.
According to the news release, the Definitive Option Mining Agreement was with Durus Copper Chile CPA of Santiago, Chile.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lico can earn up to 60% interest in the Purickuta Lithium Exploration Concession.
Lico is committed to make certain cash payments totaling US$8.4 million as well as issue 5.0 million shares on top of various work and development commitments during the term of the contract.
The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval.
Lico has been talking about this deal since January 3rd, when the company released news that it had entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Durus for Purickuta.
Much of the excitement over Purickuta revolves around the project’s location within the prolific Salar de Atacama, home to approximately 37% of the world’s lithium production.
But there’s more than behind this deal that makes it shine. Puricktuka’s size matches junior miners’ capabilities to fast track their way to production. The surrounding established infrastructure in terms of utilities, access and processing facilities is second to none, setting the stage for the potential of low-cost resource definition and near-term production.
Both Lico COO, Tim Femback, and advisory board member, J. Malcolm Bell have recently visited Purickuta along with Chilean QP, Eduardo Alvarez, to organize a surface evaluation and shallow depth brine sampling program so the company can complete the initial 43-101 report for TSX approval.
It should be noted that Purickuta isn’t Lico’s only pony. The company already has a diverse portfolio of high value metals projects, including its option agreement to earn up to 100% ownership, subject to royalty, in the Teledyne Project located near Colbalt, Ontario. The property adjoins the south and west boundaries of claims that hosted the Agaunico Mine which produced 4.35 million pounds of cobalt from 1905 to 1961.
The company also has an option to acquire 100% interest, subject to royalty, on a large lithium exploration project at the Humboldt Salt Marsh in Dixie Valley, Nevada, as well as an option agreement to earn up to an undivided 70% interest, subject to royalty, in the Black Rock Desert Lithium Project also in Nevada.
Lico has set itself an ambitious 2017 by planning to launch exploration programs on all of its properties over the next several months.