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Macarthur Minerals (TSXV:MMS) is an Australian company focused on identifying and developing high-grade lithium projects. Macarthur Minerals currently holds 21 exploration license applications and prospective interest in rights to lithium covering a total area of 2,029 square kilometres (501,376 acres) in the Pilbara, Ravensthorpe and the Yalgoo/Edah regions of Western Australia. In addition, the Company has also entered into an agreement to acquire the Stonewall Project in Nevada, which covers an area of approximately 5,700 acres (23 km2).
Peer activity in the Pilbara region includes both Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) and Dakota Minerals (ASX:DKO) who hold advanced lithium projects with JORC-compliant resource.
Rare Earth Minerals PLC (AIM:REM, OTC:REMMY) recently made a strategic investment in Macarthur Minerals. REM has a joint-venture partnership with Bacanora Minerals in the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico—the only project in the world to have an offtake agreement with Tesla.
The global lithium market is growing rapidly due to developments in the technology and energy sectors, especially in the use of lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices, hybrid electric motor vehicles and storage battery industries.” said David Taplin, Managing Director of Macarthur Minerals. “Industry experts comment that overall lithium demand may more than double from present levels through to 2025, while incumbent producers of lithium are limited in their ability to bring on additional supply to satisfy growing demand.”
Macarthur is managed by a strong team of exploration and finance professionals who recently completed a modest capital raise which will bring its lithium properties through the first stage of field reconnaissance in 2016.
In Western Australia’s Yilgarn region, Macarthur has a “shovel-ready” iron ore project. This project, along with its other iron ore project, remain very valuable assets. Macarthur is identifying opportunities to maximise the value of the two iron ore projects as the global iron ore market continues to recover.
- Over 2,029 square kilometers of lithium acreage in Western Australia.
- One of a few TSX-V listed companies to have potential projects for lithium in Australia.
- Entered the United States lithium supply sector through an agreement to acquire the Stonewall Project in Nevada, which is prospective for lithium
- MoU with Venturex Resources Limited to enter into a farm-in and joint venture agreement for rights to lithium on their Sulphur Springs and Whim Creek Projects in the Pilbara region.
- MoU with Zadar Ventures Ltd to enter into a Farm-in Agreement for lithium exploration on the Company’s Ravensthorpe acreage, for minimum expenditure of A$2 million.
- MOU with a private gold company to purchase exclusive rights for lithium and other rare earth minerals on the private company’s acreage in the Yalgoo region of Western Australia
- Strong management team with significant international experience with a worldwide network of contacts.
- Strong track record of exploring and identifying projects.
- Strategic investment by Rare Earth Minerals Plc , which has invested in other world class lithium projects.
- Lithium acreage is proximate to Pilbara Minerals, which has raised A$100m to develop a lithium-tantalum project.
- Two iron ore projects in the Yilgarn Region of Western Australia with over C$70 million raised and invested.
Western Australia’s Rising Lithium District
A world-class lithium district is emerging in the Pilbara region of Western Australia —a global center for iron ore production. The region is home to advanced-stage lithium projects such as those owned by Pilbara Minerals, Altura Mining and Dakota Minerals. The district hosts many lithium-caesium tantalum (LCT-type) pegmatites, which provide a source for lithium-rich spodumene, the most commercially important lithium-bearing mineral.
Macarthur’s Pilbara Lithium Acreage
Macarthur Minerals’ Pilbara lithium acreage includes 18 exploration license applications covering 1,449 square kilometers across the Pilbara region.
“We have one of the largest potential acreage packages for hard rock lithium for a junior company,” stated Taplin. “We are also one of the few Canadian-listed companies to have acreage prospective for lithium in Australia. We have a significant acreage package, which will give us a high probability of discovering a high grade lithium deposit. Secondly, it allows for the potential to enter into multiple joint venture or farm-in opportunities on our acreage.”
Macarthur selected the Pilbara acreage because it demonstrated geological attributes in line with the current exploration model for LCT-type rare element pegmatite and contain similar geological settings to the Pilgangoora Li-Ta pegmatite deposits which host the lithium projects of Pilbara Minerals, Altura Mining and Dakota Minerals.
In May 2016, Macarthur completed the first round of heli-borne reconnaissance across a portion of the tenement package in the Pilbara and located a number of pegmatites which contain one or more visually identified minerals indicative of LCT pegmatites, such as beryl, lepidolite, cassiterite and tantalite.
Assay results from that heli-borne reconnaissance sampling confirms the presence of moderately to strongly fractionated rare element pegmatites within three of Macarthur’s exploration license applications. These are encouraging and results justify continued assessment of the tenements.
Reconnaissance, including sampling, was only conducted on 7 Exploration License Applications in the Pilbara, and did not include all areas in those applications.
Joint venture with Venturex at Sulphur Springs and Whim Creek
Macarthur has a Memorandum of Understanding with Venturex Resources Limited to enter into a farm-in and joint venture agreement for rights to lithium on their Sulphur Springs and Whim Creek Projects in the Pilbara. Sulphur Springs is an advanced copper-zinc project contiguous with some of Macarthur’s exploration license applications.
Venturex has conducted RC drilling for zinc-copper across Sulphur Springs, which has generated a geochemical database and the opportunity for Macarthur to resample existing drill spoil and RC drill chips for lithium or lithium pathfinder elements. If pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralization is identified on the project, the agreement would allow Macarthur to explore and drill for lithium at Sulphur Springs.
Macarthur Minerals also has two exploration license applications in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, which cover an area of 91 square kilometers. The Ravensthorpe exploration license applications are proximate to the Mount Cattlin project of Galaxy Resources Limited, which is currently mining and processing spodumene and tantalum concentrate near Ravensthorpe in South Western Australia.
Macarthur entered into a MOU with Zadar Ventures Ltd for entering into a Farm-in Agreement (“FIA”) for lithium exploration on the Company’s Ravensthorpe acreage for minimum expenditure of A$2 million. The farm-in allows the Company to accelerate its exploration activities over its large acreage package prospective for lithium, which is one of the largest for any junior listed company. This allows the Company to maximise its efforts on its Pilbara acreage.
Macarthur will manage the exploration program for the Ravensthorpe acreage contributing the resources of its very experienced lithium technical team.
Zadar plans to commence initial field reconnaissance on Macarthur Minerals’ lithium acreage at Ravensthorpe in the near future.
Edah Hill Acreage
Macarthur Minerals also has an exploration license pending on the Edah Hill Project which covers 121 square kilometers in the Mt. Edah district of Western Australia’s Midwest region. The property is surrounded by occurrences of pegmatites with tantalum, beryl and traces of rare metals including tin, tungsten and lithium. Precious mapping of the area shows numerous pegmatite dykes.
Yalgoo Lithium Project
Macarthur entered into an agreement to acquire exclusive rights for lithium and other rare earth minerals on two granted exploration licenses covering an area of 191 square kilometres (47,161 acres) in the Yalgoo region of Western Australia. The Yalgoo Acreage on which rights to lithium are acquired is in proximity to the Company’s existing Edah Hill lithium acreage and consists of granted exploration licenses allowing immediate exploration for lithium.
The underlying licences on which the rights of lithium are acquired consists of granted exploration licences, allowing for immediate exploration for lithium.
Due diligence will focus on a reconnaissance trip to sample pegmatites revealed by historical records and sampling of core stored in Geological Survey of Western Australia facility.
On August 17, 2016 the Company entered the United States lithium supply sector through an agreement to acquire the Stonewall Project in Nevada, which is prospective for lithium. The Stonewall Project covers an area of approximately 5,700 acres (23 km2) and the majority of a Salt Lake Playa in Nevada’s Lida Valley Basin, the adjacent basin to the Clayton Valley Basin, which hosts the United States’ only producing lithium mine. The Stonewall Project is considered essentially “drill ready” and a United States mineral exploration company is being engaged to undertake a shallow drilling program for due diligence purposes.
The Stonewall Project is located over the majority of a Salt Lake Playa consisting of 38 Placer Mine Claims, located in the Lida Valley, Nevada. The Stonewall Project is located in an intermontane basin and surrounded by Tertiary age volcanic rocks with strong potential to be the source rocks for the lithium. The potential lithium source rocks include flows and tuffs that likely extend under the alluvial cover.
A United States mineral exploration company is being engaged to perform the initial technical due diligence evaluation work on lithium for the Stonewall Project. The mineral exploration company will shortly conduct an initial shallow drilling program on the Stonewall Project for the purposes of collecting soil and brine samples for lithium. Nevada legal counsel has been engaged to provide a legal title report of the Stonewall Project Placer Mine Claims.
Macarthur is focused on the acquisition and development of high quality lithium projects. Macarthur is currently evaluating its acreage and commencing discussions with various third parties concerning potential joint ventures to maximize the exploration effort throughout 2016.
Iron Ore Projects
Macarthur Minerals iron ore projects are located northwest of Kalgoorlie in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia. The Ularring Hematite Project contains a total of 54.46 million tonnes of indicated mineral resource and 25.99 million tonnes of inferred mineral resource. Macarthur Minerals has received environmental approval for the Ularring Project at both the state and federal level. The Moonshine Magnetite Project contains a total inferred mineral resource of 1,316 million tonnes.
David Taplin—President, CEO and Director
David Taplin has 25 years experience as an executive in mining, gas and electricity. In addition to Managing Director, he has held positions as chief financial officer, company secretary, general counsel and in corporate development for several ASX, TSX and TSX-V companies and government-owned corporations. David has worked extensively in corporate finance, corporate law and corporate governance both in Australia and internationally. David holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Business Administration (AGSM), Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance, Graduate Diploma of Business Management, and is a solicitor, CPA, Chartered Secretary (ACIS and FGIA) and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Alan Phillips— Executive Director
Alan Phillips has been a senior executive, director and chairman of ASX, TSX-V, TSX and AIM listed companies over a period of 40 years. Alan has experience in a broad range of industries, but predominantly in the mining and exploration of copper, gold, ethanol and iron ore and technology sectors.
Cameron McCall—Chairman and Non-Executive Director
Cameron McCall has a wealth of experience across the financial services and commercial property industries within Australia and internationally. He has been providing investment advice, equity capital raising and share trading for over 17 years to corporate entities and private clients at Hartley’s Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited. Cameron has during his 40 year career built an extensive network of international and Australian based high net worth individuals and corporate entities. He is currently running a corporate advisory business providing advice on asset acquisition and capital raising to international and Australian based organizations.
David Lenigas – Non-Executive Director
David Lenigas is a Mining Engineer, with extensive experience in the lithium business, having recently retired as the Executive Chairman of Rare Earth Minerals plc (AIM: REM, OTC: REMMY) (“REM”). REM is a London listed Investment Company, which has a number of strategic investments in lithium projects around the world. David was responsible for REM’s early entry, in 2013, into the Sonora Lithium Project in northern Mexico, one of the world’s largest new lithium projects. REM has a 30% interest in the majority of the Sonora Lithium Project acreage, with TSX-V and London listed Bacanora Minerals Ltd (TSX-V, AIM: BCN)(“BCN”). He also served as a non-executive director of BCN until the end of 2015. David was also responsible for REM making an early stage 16.4% shareholding in Australian and London listed European Metals Holdings Limited (ASX, AIM: EMH)(“EMH”). EMH is the owner of the Cinovec Lithium Project in the Czech Republic, the largest lithium project in the European Union, which is strategically located on the border with Germany. David is also Executive Chairman of several London listed companies, including Leni Gas Cuba Limited (ISDX: CUBA, AfriAg plc (ISDX: AFRI), and Doriemus plc (ISDX: DOR).