Ardiden has sealed a joint venture agreement in relation to its hard-rock lithium projects in Canada after new partner Great Northern Lithium gave the nod to acquiring an 80 per cent interest in the assets. Great Northern, which plans to change its name to Green Technology Metals, exercised its option to buy the stake for $8.7 million over the next 18 months.
ASX-listed gold explorer Ardiden has sealed a joint venture agreement on its hard-rock lithium projects in north-west Ontario, Canada, after new partner Great Northern Lithium gave the nod to acquiring an 80 per cent interest in the assets. Great Northern exercised its option to buy the stake for a staged-payment consideration to Ardiden totalling $8.7 million over the next 18 months.
The transaction, comprising cash instalments or a combination of cash and shares and subject to the approval of Ardiden shareholders, lays the foundation for the potential development of the JV's spodumene lithium projects.
Ardiden will be free-carried through to delivery of a positive definitive feasibility study or a decision to proceed to mining, whichever is the earliest.
It also provides a capital injection for Ardiden to pump into exploration at its promising Pickle Lake gold project, also in north-west Ontario, while the company retains exposure to the burgeoning lithium space.
The market responded warmly to the lithium JV deal confirmation, pushing Ardiden’s share price up almost 30 per cent during trading today.
Great Northern Lithium, which will soon be known as Green Technology Metals, hopes to list its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange in the second half of this year.
The JV’s Ontario lithium portfolio consists of three high-grade, hard-rock spodumene projects – Seymour Lake, Root Lake and Wisa Lake – spanning a combined area of about 95 square kilometres of fertile tenure north-west of Thunder Bay.
Seymour Lake encompasses the North Aubry and South Aubry deposits that speak for an indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 4.8 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.25 per cent lithium oxide.
Lithium at all three projects occurs in coarse-grained spodumene.
According to Green Technology Metals, the triumvirate of projects possesses excellent metallurgical properties with the potential for simple processing techniques, low operating costs, high recoveries and high concentrate grades.
Earlier metallurgical testwork on Seymour Lake concentrate by Ardiden returned a 99.5 per cent standard battery-grade lithium carbonate product.
Green Technology Metals Non-Executive Chairman John Young said: “The formation of our joint venture marks the first steps towards the development and growth of the GTM lithium business. The combination of a high-quality asset base in close proximity to existing infrastructure and key markets presents a great opportunity.”
Ardiden says Green Technology Metals is led by an experienced senior executive and board of directors who have been involved with advancing and developing a vast array of resources projects including lithium projects.
Mr Young was formerly Exploration Manager, Technical Director and Non-Executive Director of lithium producer Pilbara Minerals, Non-Executive Director Cameron Henry is the founding Managing Director of engineering firm Primero Group, and Chief Executive Officer Luke Cox has worked in the mining industry for more than 25 years across several commodities.
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