Bacanora Announces Acquisition of 50% Interest in Strategic German Lithium Asset
BACANORA MINERALS (TSXV:BCN), the Canadian and London listed resource developer focused on building an international lithium company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement (dated February 17, 2017) to acquire a 50% interest in, and joint operational control of, the Zinnwald Lithium Project (“Zinnwald” or the “Project”) in southern Saxony, Germany …
- Zinnwald, which reportedly produced lithium carbonate in the 1950s, is located in a granite hosted Sn/W/Li belt that has been mined historically for tin, tungsten and lithium
- The Project benefits from excellent access to the rapidly growing market for lithium in Germany which is being driven by the automotive, renewable energy storage and chemicals industries
- Geographical location of the Project provides potential access to new markets, which diversifies risk and complements potential target markets for the Company’s Sonora project in Mexico, where a Feasibility Study is on track for completion in 2017
- Bacanora will earn 50% of the Project in return for a cash consideration of EUR5 million and an undertaking to contribute EUR5 million towards the cost of completing of a Feasibility Study on the Project, which is anticipated to take approximately 18-24 months to complete
- Access to the significant lithium technical expertise developed by SolarWorld over the past ten years in the renewable energy industry
- Option to acquire the outstanding 50% held by SolarWorld within a 24 month period for EUR30 million
Bacanora Chairman Mark Hohnen stated, “Zinnwald is a strategic asset located in close proximity to a thriving market for lithium and energy products. The Project fits with both our corporate strategy to develop and operate integrated lithium projects to produce high value lithium products, and also the commercial overlay which drives our acquisition strategy.”
“Sonora continues to sit at the heart of our portfolio and having produced battery grade lithium carbonate from our 100% owned pilot plant ahead of finalizing off-take agreements in Asia, we are committed to bringing this into production. However, Zinnwald provides us with exposure to an exciting new geographic market and adds hard rock mineralization to our portfolio. We believe that with an ownership structure that is accretive to Bacanora, Zinnwald will further facilitate our ambition of becoming an independent global lithium operating group.”
The Zinnwald Lithium Project is located in southeast Germany, some 35 km from Dresden and adjacent to the border of the Czech Republic and within 5km of the town of Altenberg and 50 km of the town of Freiberg.
The Project is located in a granite hosted Sn/W/Li belt that has been mined historically for tin, tungsten and lithium at different times over the past 300 years. The strategic location of the Project allows immediate access to the German automotive and downstream lithium chemical industries.
The Zinnwald Project and leases are held by SolarWorld Solicium GmbH, a 100% owned subsidiary of SolarWorld AG, the largest solar panel producer in Europe. The Project has a historical resource estimate dated 1st October 2014 which was reported in accordance with the PERC Code1, comprised of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources.2 A Qualified Person (under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”)) has not done sufficient work to confirm the historical estimate; hence Bacanora is not treating the historical estimate as current Mineral Resources or Mineral Reserves. However, Bacanora believes that the historical work at Zinnwald and the geological context of the deposit support the case for investing in further work to investigate the Mineral Resource and its potential for economic extraction.
|Resource Category||Tonnes* (000)||Li Grade (ppm)||Contained LCE** (Tonnes)|
|* Li cut-off 2,500pm and >2 metres vertical thickness.|
|** LCE is the industry standard terminology for, and is equivalent to, Li2CO3.1 ppm Li metal is equivalent to 5.32 ppm LCE / Li2CO3.Use of LCE is to provide data comparable with industry reports and assumes complete conversion of lithium in clays with no recovery or process losses.|
SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd has briefly reviewed the historical work at Zinnwald and adjacent properties and is working with the Company to test the historical estimate and develop a future resource. It is expected that additional infill drilling and an updated geological and grade model will allow current Mineral Resources to be reported, following which a new technical report is expected to be prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 and AIM Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies standards.
In 2014, SolarWorld AG also completed a technical report on the Project, prepared in accordance with the PERC Code.3 Bacanora has reviewed the foregoing report (a copy of which has been published by SolarWorld AG on its website) and relied upon it in ascribing its internal valuations for the Project and the negotiation of the transaction terms.
Bacanora’s investment into the Zinnwald Project gives the potential to provide entry into the fast-growing European lithium market whereas the Sonora project continues to focus on off-take markets in Asia. In addition, the location of Zinnwald, adjacent to existing downstream German lithium chemical infrastructure and automotive manufacturing capacity, has the potential to allow the Zinnwald Project to focus on the production of higher value, downstream lithium products, which typically command premium pricing as compared to lithium carbonate products.
Martin Pittuck of SRK Consulting (UK) Limited is the Qualified Person pursuant to NI 43-101 and the AIM Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies who has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this announcement.
Bacanora is a Canadian and London listed minerals explorer (TSX VENTURE:BCN)(AIM:BCN). The Company explores and develops industrial mineral projects, with a primary focus on the Sonora Lithium Project. The Company’s operations are based in Hermosillo in northern Mexico and it currently has two significant projects under development in the state of Sonora.
The Sonora Lithium Project, which consists of ten mining concession areas covering approximately 100 thousand hectares in the northeast of Sonora State. The Company, through drilling and exploration work to date, has established an Indicated Mineral Resource (in accordance with NI 43-101) of 4.5 million tonnes (LCE) and 2.7 million tonnes Inferred.4 A PFS completed in Q1 20165 demonstrated the economics associated with becoming a 35,000 tpa lithium carbonate and 50,000 tpa SOP producer in Mexico.
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. In particular, forward-looking information in this press release includes, but is not limited to completion of a Feasibility Study in respect of the Zinnwald Project within 18 to 24 months; earning of a 50% interest in the Zinnwald Project by Bacanora; conducting of infill drilling and updating of geological and grade model; preparation of a new technical report; potential future exercise of option to acquire the remaining 50% balance of the Zinnwald Project and the finalization of off-take agreements in Asia. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. We cannot guarantee future results, performance or achievements. Consequently, there is no representation that the actual results achieved will be the same, in whole or in part, as those set out in the forward-looking information.
Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information. Some of the risks and other factors that could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: commodity price volatility; general economic conditions in Canada, the United States, Mexico and globally; industry conditions, governmental regulation, including environmental regulation; unanticipated operating events or performance; failure to obtain industry partner and other third party consents and approvals, if and when required; the availability of capital on acceptable terms; the need to obtain required approvals from regulatory authorities; stock market volatility; competition for, among other things, capital, skilled personnel and supplies; changes in tax laws; and the other risk factors disclosed under our profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that this list of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive.
The forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. We undertake no duty to update any of the forward-looking information to conform such information to actual results or to changes in our expectations except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
1 PERC Code means the Pan European Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Reserves prepared by the Pan-European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee, as amended.
2 The foregoing estimates were set forth in a report dated October 1, 2014, prepared by G.E.O.S. Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg on behalf of SolarWorld Solicium GmbH and entitled, “Zinnwald Lithium Project, Report According to PERC Standard”.
3 See report dated October 1, 2014, prepared by G.E.O.S. Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg on behalf of SolarWorld Solicium GmbH and entitled, “Zinnwald Lithium Project, Report According to PERC Standard”.
4 See AmendedMineral Resource Estimate for the Sonora Lithium Project, Mexico, April 2016. The lead author of the amended report is Mr. Martin Pittuck (MSc., C.Eng., FGS, MIMMM) of SRK Consulting (UK) Limited (‘SRK’). A copy of this report is available under Bacanora’s corporate profile at www.sedar.com.
5 See Technical Report on the Pre-Feasibility Study for the Sonora Lithium Project, Mexico, 15 April 2016. The authors of the PFS are Ausenco Limited, SRK and Independent Mining Consultants Inc. A copy of this report is available under Bacanora’s corporate profile at www.sedar.com.
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP, Nomad
Sandy Jamieson/Liam Murray
+44 (0) 20 7213 0880
Numis Securities Ltd, Broker
John Prior/James Black/Paul Gillam
+44 (0) 20 7260 1000
St Brides Partners, Financial PR Adviser
Frank Buhagiar/ Elisabeth Cowell
+44 (0) 20 7236 1177
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