Dakota Minerals - Strategic Lithium Acquisition in Portugal

Dakota Minerals - Strategic Lithium Acquisition in Portugal

Dakota (ASX:DKO) has executed its previously announced strategic plan to develop a global portfolio of lithium projects through the acquisition of 100% rights to a large tenement package in Portugal containing known spodumene and petalite-bearing pegmatite swarms. The deal provides a dominant land position in the three regions of the country prospective for such mineralisation, including multiple historic records of surface lithium values in the tenement package over 1% LiO and up to 6.71% LiO.


Highlights:

  • 100% rights acquired to large tenement package in Portugal containing known spodumene and petalite-bearing pegmatite swarms.
  • Acquisition part of Dakota’s previously outlined plan to acquire and develop globally strategic, high quality lithium projects. Acquisition complements Dakota’s high-priority Lynas Find project in the Pilgangoora area, and meets one of the Company’s strategies for market diversification.
  • Dominant land position in all three regions in Portugal prospective for spodumene or petalite-hosted lithium pegmatites.
  • Multiple historic records of surface lithium values in the tenement package over 1% LiO, and up to 6.71%LiO.
  • Strategic position in Europe, where companies such as Daimler and Volkswagen are greatly increasing their capacity for lithium-ion battery production.
  • Portugal is the top lithium producer in Europe and a global Top 10 country for public policy related to mining investment.
  • Accelerated exploration plan to identify and develop new lithium resources as soon as possible.
  • Field work about to commence, including sampling old workings, and auger drilling on historic tailings dams.

Dakota Minerals Limited (“Dakota”, “DKO”, or “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100% rights to a very significant tenement package over the three most prospective areas for spodumene and petalitehosted lithium in Portugal. Work is commencing within the highest priority areas, including mapping, surface sampling and auger drilling. David Frances, Dakota’s Managing Director, commented: “We see Europe as an instrumental part of the growing electric vehicle (EV) market, with likely the highest EV penetration rate in the near-term, making DKO’s new Portugal project strategically located relative to this market. This, coupled with our existing high-priority Lynas Find project in Western Australia, gives the Company key market diversification with exposure to both the Asian and European battery markets and forms part of the Company’s aim of becoming a diversified longterm lithium producer”.

Why Europe, Why Portugal?

Dakota had previously announced its attention to grow its quality lithium portfolio via strategic acquisitions in prospective jurisdictions. Portugal, as the leading lithium producer in Europe, was identified by the management team to be a high priority destination. Many countries in Europe are leading the world in uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) using lithium-ion batteries, with EVs already totalling 22% of all new vehicle sales in Norway. Lithium-ion batteries are already being produced in Europe to meet this increasing demand, and production capacity in car-producing countries such as Germany is growing dramatically to keep up, with Daimler recently announcing a new 500 million Euro battery factory, and Volkswagen likely to soon follow suit. Battery producers will need more supply from safe, nearby jurisdictions. Sourcing lithium from Europe would also reduce the carbon footprint of the car production supply chain. Portugal has public policies deemed to be highly supportive of mining: it ranked in the global Top 10 of all countries in the Fraser Institute 2015 Survey of Mining Companies for Policy Perception Index, an assessment of the attractiveness of mining policies. For these reasons, the management of Dakota have been pursuing projects in areas most prospective for lithium in Portugal.

Where in Portugal?

There are six main lithium-bearing pegmatite districts in Portugal; of these, three are thought to be prospective for spodumene, while the other three are lepidolite-dominant, which is more energyintensive to process. The three districts containing mostly spodumene and/or petalite are Serra de Arga, Barroso-Alvao, and Almendra - Barca de Alva (Figure 1). Historic records show surface and drilling results highly anomalous in lithium, with multiple values over 1% LiO in Barroso-Alvao and Serra de Arga (Figures 2-4). Each area is comparable in size or larger than the Pilgangoora region that hosts Dakota’s Lynas Find lithium project. Dakota has focused on these areas, and now holds a dominant exploration tenement position in all three, by virtue of its agreement with Lusorecursos LDA., a Portuguese exploration junior. The exploration tenements are a mixture of granted leases and new applications. Dakota is commencing mapping, surface sampling and auger drilling work on the highest priority leases, to quickly identify drill targets.

Acquisition Terms

The acquisition terms for the tenements are as follows:

  • 10,000 Euro upfront option cash payment to Lusorecursos LDA.
  • 10,000 Euro cash payment and 63,000 Euro six-month consulting contract on successful grant of experimental exploration rights for tenements MNPPP0274, 275 and 276.
  • 250,000 Euro milestone payment on definition, within the tenements, of a 5 million tonne NI43-101/JORC lithium resource at 1.2 % LiO, and 750,000 Euro milestone payment on definition within the tenements of a 15 million tonne NI43-101/JORC lithium resource at 1.2% LiO (or greater).
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