THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Cobre Montana (ASX: CXB) has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS).
The MoU involves testing the lepidolite potential of the former’s Pilgangoora project southeast of Port Hedland in Western Australia, to produce high-grade lithium carbonate for use in advanced hi-tech batteries.
Location of the Pilgangoora lithium project. Source: Company announcement
The cornerstone to the MOU will be a six month study by Cobre Montana of the Pilgangoora deposit, which is anticipated to lead to a presentation of a commercial development proposal by Cobre to Pilbara Minerals.
Cobre Montana’s test work program will include field inspections, data using past resource calculations, results from Pilbara Minerals’ current 10,000m drilling campaign and laboratory work to confirm the suitability of Pilgangoora lepidolite as a source for battery-grade lithium carbonate.
The MOU with Pilbara Minerals is the second major advance in a month for Cobre Montana’s aspirations to become a lithium developer.
Earlier this month Cobre secured exclusive licensing rights to the only practical technology for extracting lithium from micas.
The licensing rights will extend for up to 25 years, giving Cobre Montana a competitive edge with respect to processing such materials.
“Securing the access to processing technology had proven the catalyst for the company and Pilbara Minerals to advance assessment work on the Pilgangoora project,” Cobre Montana managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
Pilbara Minerals controls substantial resources of lithium within the Pilgangoora project.
The project hosts a JORC 2012 Inferred Resource of 8.6 million tonnes at 1.01 per cent lithium oxide for 87,000 tonnes of lithium.
Pilbara Minerals and Cobre Montana recognised the significant opportunity that presents itself at Pilgangoora by combining: The economic advantage of exploiting both tantalum and lepidolite simultaneously; The complementary experience of Pilbara and Cobre; and The benefits of the exclusive licence rights with identified resources, to expedite potential commercialisation opportunities,” Griffin said.