THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Pioneer Resources (ASX: PIO) has struck a second Option Agreement with International Lithium Corp (ILC) (TSX.V: ILC), enabling Pioneer to initially earn a 51 per cent interest and, subject to ILC’s participation, up an 80 per cent interest, in the Raleigh lithium project.
The Raleigh project is currently owned 100 per cent by ILC and is located 60km southeast of the Mavis Lake lithium project in Ontario, which Pioneer acquired in March 2016.
The Agreement will provide Pioneer with its second Canadian lithium (spodumene) pegmatite field, along with the Mavis lithium project.
The company said establishing advanced lithium projects in close proximity increases the likelihood of a future single infrastructure lithium production hub.
Pioneer said the Raleigh Project Agreement is consistent with its recent strategy of acquiring and advancing key demand-driven commodities both in Canada and Western Australia.
The Raleigh project covers an area of 440 hectares and has historically been targeted for its tantalum potential, however 2010 drilling demonstrated prospectivity for lithium.
According to Pioneer, at least six pegmatites have spodumene identified in outcrop and a number of lithium litho-geochemical anomalies have been identified to be evaluated with drilling expected during the September and December quarters of 2016.
Pioneer plans to commit to additional exploration programs in 2016 at both the Raleigh and Mavis Lake projects, completing exploration concurrently utilising ILC’s existing Canadian-based technical team.
“The benefits of the Strategic Alliance with ILC are becoming evident with Pioneer securing an option to acquire a majority interest in of the Raleigh lithium project,” Pioneer Resources managing director David Crook said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The objective of the Strategic Alliance is to develop an operational hub for spodumene concentrate at a location with advanced infrastructure, and adding the nearby Raleigh project to the Mavis Lake lithium project greatly enhances the Dryden district as a preferred location.
“Field work has commenced at the Mavis project, and drilling is expected to commence in September 2016 with programs planned for both Raleigh and Mavis Lake lithium projects.
“We look forward to informing the market as further progress is made.”