Pioneer Lithium expands Canadian portfolio with Benham project acquisition
Newly listed battery-metals explorer Pioneer Lithium (ASX: PLN) has moved quickly to add to its already impressive portfolio with the signing of an agreement to purchase a 100% interest in the highly prospective Benham project located in north-west Ontario, Canada.
Comprised of 30 claims totalling approximately 1,245 hectares, the Benham project is located around 70km west of Critical Resources’ (ASX: CRR) Mavis Lake lithium project, where more than 20 lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites have been identified.
Managing director Clinton Booth said the company’s immediate focus at Benham will be to conduct early exploration fieldwork activities including prospecting, mapping and the collection of rock chip samples.
He said Pioneer will take advantage of the project’s proximity to existing infrastructure and nearby townships to move quickly to investigate the new acquisition.
Future exploration plans
Future exploration plans will be developed following completion of analysis of the results of its initial fieldwork program.
“We are very pleased to add this highly prospective property to our existing portfolio, and to have been able to achieve this with an acquisition structure which allows Pioneer Lithium to cost effectively grow our asset base in a tier-1 jurisdiction,” Mr Booth said.
“This acquisition positions Pioneer Lithium extremely well for future growth as we progress our development strategy.”
Proposed acquisition details
The company and its 100% owned subsidiary Root Lake Resources have entered into an exclusive option agreement with the owner of the claims, Wayne Benham.
The company will acquire an undivided 100% interest in the project upon the payment of an initial exercise fee of approximately $56,000 to Mr Benham.
If the sale proceeds, the company has agreed to make milestone payments totalling approximately $365,000 over a 48-month period.
Upon declaration of a mineral resource estimate of at least 10 million tonnes at 1% lithium oxide or equivalent, Pioneer will in addition be required to pay approximately $280,000.
Highly active program
Pioneer listed on the ASX in late September after the successful completion of an oversubscribed $5 million initial public offer.
Upon listing, the company’s extensive portfolio included the strategically located lithium assets at Root Lake (90% owned) and Lauri Lake (100% owned) in Ontario and the LaGrande (100% owned) lithium project in Quebec’s world-class James Bay region.
The company has already shown it will not be sitting on its heels as it moves to take advantage of its assets and a highly experienced management and exploration team.
Within a month of listing, Pioneer had commenced maiden fieldwork campaigns at both Root Lake and LaGrande.
Maiden drilling campaign imminent
It is now preparing to commence a maiden drilling campaign at Root Lake after contracting Cyr Drilling International and Haverman Brothers Forestry Services to provide drilling services and on-site camp accommodation.
The 4,000-metre drill program is expected to commence this month.
It will follow up positive results observed in the fieldwork program which identified a total of 89 new pegmatite outcrops during prospecting activities within two highly prospective corridors along-strike from the known lithium deposits held by Green Technology Metals (ASX: GT1).
Over the course of the fieldwork campaign, a total of 536 rock chip samples and targeted litho-geochemical channel samples were systematically collected for assaying.