Cobre Montana swoops early to tie up lithium technology

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Cobre Montana (ASX: CXB) has made its move 15 months before necessary to exercise an option for new processing license agreements

Cobre explained the agreements will combine its mica-based lithium deposits near Coolgardie, Ravensthorpe and Southern Cross in Western Australia and the Cinovec project in the Czech Republic, with what it claims to be the only known practical processing technology able to extract lithium from sheet like micas.

The process is a proprietary technology developed and owned by Perth-based technology provider, Strategic Metallurgy.

Having exercised the agreements, Cobre Montana now has conditional use of Strategic Metallurgy’s technology for the next 25 years.

“Given the nature of the licenses provided, Cobre has first mover advantage over competitors,” Cobre Montana managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Under the terms of the licenses, Cobre Montana will be subject to:

A requirement to continue testing with Strategic Metallurgy;

Gross product royalty of 2%;

License exclusivity for all of Western Australia for 5 years from exercise; and

Exclusivity extended another 20 years if Cobre commits to build a plant anywhere in the world during the initial 5 year exclusivity period;

Two further license options available anywhere in the world, with Cobre having the right to change nominations by agreement with Strategic. One of these licenses has been assigned to the Cinovec project in the Czech Republic where Cobre Montana plans to operate in Joint Venture with European Metals Holdings Limited.

“We have been exceptionally pleased with the test results using this technology and the license agreements provide us with the ability to lock in our position, with no additional outlay as further testing progresses,” Griffin said.