Lithium Australia progresses sale of 70% in Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston assets to Charger Metals ahead of ASX listing
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) (OTCMKTS:LMMFF) (FRA:3MW) has progressed its joint venture with soon-to-be-listed Charger Metals with the latter exercising its option to acquire a 70% stake in three of LIT’s battery metals assets. Charger, which is poised to list on the ASX in the coming week, will oversee exploration across the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston projects. However, Lithium Australia will still have exposure to the battery materials projects as it will retain a 30% free carried interest in the exploration assets and remains Charger Metals’ largest shareholder. To finalise the acquisition, Charger has handed over a $100,000 cash payment and 9.6 million Charger shares to Lithium Australia, valued at $1.92 million. Following an oversubscribed $6 million initial public offering (IPO), Charger Metals is preparing to list on the ASX, with quotation anticipated on Thursday, July 8, according to the company’s prospectus. Charger to expedite focused exploration effort Following the option exercise, Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said: “Lithium Australia retains significant exposure to raw materials through its equity in Charger, as well as its free-carried project interests. “The latter potentially provide access to raw materials that the Lithium Australia group of companies can further process. “Charger Metals’ specialised expertise will expedite a focused exploration effort, leaving Lithium Australia to concentrate on its core business: the ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry and the development of a circular battery economy. “We eagerly await exploration outcomes at the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston projects.” The projects As it prepares for its ASX debut, Charger officially brings the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston exploration assets under its wing. Coates project The Coates project is a WA-based nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum group elements (PGE) play, situated about 20 kilometres from Chalice Mining Ltd’s (ASX:CHN) (OTCMKTS:CGMLF) Julimar discovery. The project comprises one granted exploration licence, one application and one retention licence, covering a combined 48 square kilometres. Lithium Australia’s Coates project exhibits geology similar to that of Julimar, with geochemistry results from an adjacent tenement returning encouraging nickel-copper-PGE and gold anomalies that few explorers identified previously. Lake Johnston Further east in Western Australia lies the Lake Johnston lithium, nickel and gold asset — Charger’s most advanced project, with tenements covering around 25 square kilometres. The most promising Lake Johnston target uncovered to date is the Lake Medcalf prospect, where LIT geologists identified a large zone of very strongly mineralised spodumene pegmatite at Bontempelli Hill. The Bontempelli Hill outcrops consist of near fresh, stacked pegmatites, containing between 20% and 30% spodumene. Rock-chip samples from the pegmatite dyke swarm average 3.6% lithium oxide and up to a maximum of 7.15% lithium oxide from spodumene outcrop. Notably, the Lake Johnston region has not been subjected to long periods of intense exploration like most other greenstone belts in Western Australia due to the difficult access and the lack of outcrop. Bynoe project Finally, travelling up to the Northern Territory, Charger now holds a managing stake in the Bynoe lithium and gold asset — situated just 38 kilometres from Darwin. The Bynoe Pegmatite field is one of the most prospective areas for lithium in the NT and has many similarities to Greenbushes in WA, one of the world’s largest spodumene deposits. The tenement is surrounded by ASX-lister Core Lithium Ltd‘s (ASX:CXO) extensive holding, with Bynoe in close proximity to the Finnis Lithium Project. Finnis boasts a 14.7-million-tonne mineral resource, grading at 1.32% lithium oxide. Significantly, 7.6 million tonnes of resources fall into the measured and indicated categories. The Finnis project is at a very advanced stage of development, with a definitive feasibility study completed in April 2019. Charger Metals prepares for ASX debut Lithium Australia’s joint venture partner is likely just days away from joining the local share market’s register after it completed an oversubscribed IPO last month. LIT shareholders received priority access to the offer, able to subscribe for $500,000 worth of Charger shares at 20 cents apiece. Since then, Charger has lodged its prospectus with ASIC and is poised to commence trade under the ticker ‘CHR’.