Cadence Minerals PLC - Acquisition of Lithium Assets in Australia London Stock Exchange
RNS Number : 7169R
Cadence Minerals PLC
04 March 2019
 

Cadence Minerals Plc

("Cadence Minerals", "Cadence" or "the Company")

Acquisition of Lithium Assets in Australia

Cadence Minerals (AIM/NEX: KDNC; OTC: KDNCY; "Cadence") is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire three highly prospective assets in Australia that are in regions with proven high-grade lithium mineralisation. The mechanism to facilitate this acquisition is via varying binding investment agreements in place with Lithium Technologies Pty Ltd ("LT") and Lithium Supplies Pty Ltd ("LS") that Cadence entered on 11 December 2017 to acquire up to 100% of six prospective hard rock lithium assets in Argentina.

HIGHLIGHTS

·      Varying the agreements with LT & LS delivers Cadence with the opportunity to immediately start developing three highly prospective lithium projects in Australia, while still retaining Cadence's exposure to the six assets in Argentina.

 

·      The acquisition covers three projects - Picasso (Western Australia - WA), Litchfield (Northern Territories - NT) and Alcoota (NT) - that are located  in regions with proven lithium mineralisation and supportive mining infrastructure

 

·      The Picasso project (license granted) is near Alliance Mineral Assets' (ASX: A40; SGX: 40F; "AMA") high-profile Bald Hill Mine in WA (note: AMA recently completed a 50:50 A$400m+ merger with delisted Tawawa Resources [ASX: TAW] & raised $40M to develop the  asset base)

·      Demonstrating exploration upside for Picasso, the Bald Hill Mine is producing a spodumene concentrate and has a JORC (2012) compliant mineral resource of 26.5Mt @ 0.96% Li2O; probable ore reserves at 11.3Mt @ 1.01% Li2O

·      The Litchfield project (license granted), located near Darwin (NT), is contiguous to Core Lithium's (ASX: CXO) ground and has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 8.55Mt @ 1.33% Li2O for its Finnis project (for all six deposits)

·      Finally, the Alcoota project (license to be-granted) is circa 145km NE of Alice Springs (NT) and has seen comparatively limited exploration, though significant geochemistry samples from 10km south of the project returned assays of 10.2% & 9.6% Li2O , with evidence suggesting there is a pegmatite zone within tenure prospective for lithium mineralisation

Kiran Morzaria, Chief Executive Officer, added:

"The Board is delighted with this variation agreement since it will enable the exploration team in Australia to commence work immediately on developing prime lithium assets, starting with the Picasso project in Western Australia. Alliance Mineral Assets' recently raised AU$ 40 million to develop its lithium assets in the region, including its high-profile Bald Hill Mine, which located as it is nearby to Picasso, underlines the opportunity and potential upside for Cadence 

More importantly, this transaction is strategically beneficial as the Australian projects were acquired without any material variation to the monetary value of the acquisition agreed over the six Argentina assets. At a stroke, this delivers Cadence three additional opportunities to create incremental value for shareholders while continuing to progress the highly prospective Argentina assets."

OVERVIEW OF NEW AUSTRALIAN LITHIUM ASSETS

A more detailed summary of the key salient points for each of the lithium assets follows:

Picasso project, WA

The Picasso project is located 50km from the city of Norseman, which connects via rail to the southern Port of Esperance. Moreover, it is circa 40km south of the newly formed Alliance Mineral Assets' (AMA) high-profile Bald Hill Mine. This region is well known for high-grade lithium mineralisation, with the formation of AMA (via a AU$400 million merger with now delisted Tawana Resources and AU$40 million in fresh exploration funding) providing demonstratable evidence.

Picasso's proximity to the Bald Hill Mine (which commenced producing lithium spodumene concentrate in March 2018) is a significant positive feature since it is a high-grade economically viable deposit:

Ø The JORC (2012) compliant total mineral resource is 26.5Mt @ 0.96% Li2O (255.2k contained tonnes) & 149ppm Ta2O5 (8,600lbs contained); and;

Ø Probable ore reserves of 11.3Mt @ 1.01% Li2O (114.1kt contained) & 160ppm Ta2O5 (4,000lbs contained)

Further, demonstrating the region's potential, Liontown Resources' (ASX: LTR) latest drilling program (15km south of Picasso) has intersected excellent lithium mineralisation at its two projects: Buldania (41m @ 1.0% Li2O and 35m @ 1.2% Li2O) and Killaloe (58m @ 1.2% Li2O).

The Picasso project's geology is very similar to occurrences in AMA's and Liontown Resources' ground, both of which both have proven lithium mineralisation. Specifically, the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) has mapped granitic pegmatites (which typically host lithium-bearing minerals such as spodumene) within the tenure.

Encouragingly, based on analysing GSWA maps, there are more outcropping granite units and mapped pegmatites in the Picasso project than AMA's ground. Furthermore, significant weathering has potentially restricted identifying many more pegmatites at the surface, which demonstrates further exploration upside.

Litchfield project, NT

The Litchfield project is close to Darwin Port and supportive mining infrastructure but in a region considered mineral rich, yet materially under-explored. Litchfield is located in the Bynoe pegmatite field, which is known to host lithium mineralisation.

A huge positive for the Litchfield project is its proximity to its, Core Lithium, which has five demonstratable spodumene lithium deposits within 1-2km of the north-west boundary. These deposits, collectively called the Finniss project, have a JORC (2012) compliant total mineral resource of 7.25Mt @ 1.41% Li2O (excludes Sandras deposit further south).

Of these, the BP33 deposit, which is over 140m deep and 20-40m wide, has produced some spectacular intersections across several drill-holes:

Ø 75m @ 1.68 % Li2O including 55m @ 1.97% Li2O

Ø 36m @ 1.61% Li2O including 14m @ 2.05% Li2O

Ø 49m @ 1.02% Li2O

Interestingly, a closer examination of satellite imagery along the western boundary confirms the geology is comparable, highlighting the prospect of contiguous mineralisation. Notably, this shows within the Litchfield project that there is high potential for lithium pegmatite bodies to be apparent.

While negligible exploration for lithium has been undertaken in the Litchfield project (explaining a dearth of drilling & geochemical results), the exploration upside is significant given Core Lithium has produced some of the best intercepts in Australia.

Alcoota project, NT

The Alcoota project is circa 145km NE of Alice Springs but has seen limited lithium exploration. However, recent rock chip samples indicate there is strong potential to uncover high-grade spodumene mineralisation. Notably, Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27), which has several projects in the region targeting lithium mineralisation, identified a new zone of pegmatites 12km long by up to 2km wide that extends into the Alcoota project from the SE boundary. Furthermore, directly 10km south in the adjacent tenure, assay results for rock chip samples returned respective grades up to 10.2% & 9.6% Li2O.

Overall, with granites and related pegmatite-intruded schist units extending into the Alcoota project (from the south), it explains why analogous lithium mineralisation is highly likely apparent.

Priority exploration targets

The geology team have already identified priority and secondary targets for exploration within each of the projects. Further, as the Picasso and Litchfield projects are already granted, the immediate focus will be to expedite updating desktop reviews and commence field trips for surface sampling and assay, followed by a ranking of priority drilling targets.

Details of the Transactions

Cadence has agreed a variation to the agreements with LT and LS. As previously announced (click here), Cadence can acquire 100% of Lithium Technologies Pty Ltd and Lithium Supplies Pty.

The variation will result in LT & LS acquiring between them 100% of Synergy Prospecting Ltd ("Synergy"), which owns the three lithium projects in Australia. As two of Synergy's assets are granted, Cadence has agreed to move forward with increasing is ownership in LT & LS form 4% to 31.5% via:

·       Issuing 373,544,298 million Cadence shares to the founding shareholders of LT & LS valued at £400,000 (based on 14-day VWAP of £0.0107) to acquire a further 20% stake, which is in line with the terms of the original agreements; and

·       Invest £300,000 to earn an incremental 7.5% stake, with the funds earmarked to commence developing Synergy's lithium assets in Australia.

The result of the variation would mean no change to the £ consideration to be paid for of LS and LT, however additional shares would be issued as a result of the change in the share price in Cadence between November 2017 and March 2019.

The principle terms for the acquisition for up to 100% of LT and LS is now as follows.

Stage

Ownership %

Total Ownership %

Total Consideration or the Acquisition of Lithium Technologies Pty Ltd & Lithium Supplies Pty Ltd

Purpose

Status

Cash Earn In £

Share Consideration Value £

Shares

Stage 1

4%

4%

100,000

-

-

Earn-in early non-invasive exploration (pre -exploration permits being granted)

Completed

Stage 2

20%

24%

-

400,000

373,544,298

On grant of exploration permits - acquisition of Lithium Technologies and Lithium Supplies shares

To be completed on Cadence payment of shares

Stage 3

7.50%

31.5%

300,000

-

-

Earn - in on commencement of exploration works after grant exploration permits

To be completed on Cadence earn-in expenditure

Stage 4

17.50%

49%

700,000

-

-

Earn - In on identification of suitable drill targets


Stage 5

51%

100%

-

1,750,000

1,634,256,305

1-year option to acquire all the outstanding share capital of Lithium Technologies and Lithium Supplies


Total



1,100,000

2,150,000

2,007,800,603



 

The exploration team in Argentina continues to progress developing the assets and working with the regulator towards securing approval to scale up the exploration program, then formulate the inaugural drilling campaign.

 

- Ends -

For further information:

Cadence Minerals plc

+44 (0) 207 440 0647

Andrew Suckling


Kiran Morzaria




WH Ireland Limited (NOMAD & Broker)

+44 (0) 207 220 1666

James Joyce


James Sinclair-Ford




Hannam & Partners LLP (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 207 907 8500

Neil Passmore


Giles Fitzpatrick




Novum Securities Limited (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 207 399 9400

Jon Belliss


 

Qualified Person

Kiran Morzaria B.Eng. (ACSM), MBA, has reviewed and approved the information contained in this announcement. Kiran holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Geology) from the Camborne School of Mines and an MBA (Finance) from CASS Business School.

 

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this announcement are or may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ''believe'' ''could'' "should" ''envisage'' ''estimate'' ''intend'' ''may'' ''plan'' ''will'' or the negative of those variations or comparable expressions including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors' current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's future growth results of operations performance future capital and other expenditures (including the amount. nature and sources of funding thereof) competitive advantages business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Directors' current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors.  Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including risks associated with vulnerability to general economic and business conditions competition environmental and other regulatory changes actions by governmental authorities the availability of capital markets reliance on key personnel uninsured and underinsured losses and other factors many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Although any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based upon what the Directors believe to be reasonable assumptions. The Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements.

 


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