Pioneer Lithium commences exploration campaign at Benham project

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By Imelda Cotton - 
pioneer lithium ASX PLN exploration benham project

Canada-focused junior junior Pioneer Lithium (ASX: PLN) has commenced a short and concentrated field exploration campaign at the newly-optioned Benham lithium project in the north-west region of Ontario.

The targeted works — which are being undertaken in conjunction with lithium consultant Coast Mountain Geological — will include structural interpretation, geological mapping to identify pegmatite outcrops and the collection of rock chip samples for geochemical analysis.

Pioneer aims to identify favourable host rocks and geotectonic settings at Benham and test for the dispersion of LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) pegmatite-associated geochemistry and accessory minerals.

Project claims

The Benham project comprises 30 claims across approximately 12.45 square kilometres in an area south of the boundary between the Winnipeg River and Western Wabigoon sub-provinces of the Archaean Superior Craton.

It is located between the Dryden project, owned by Patriot Lithium (ASX: PAT), and the Victory and Victory West projects, owned by Canadian-listed Beyond Lithium.

It is approximately 70km west of the Mavis Lake discovery owned by by Critical Resources (ASX: CRR)which comprises over 20 LCT pegmatites that are believed to be genetically-related to the regional Ghost Lake batholith.

Benham purchase

Earlier this month, Pioneer’s wholly-owned subsidiary Root Lake Resources secured a deal to purchase the Benham project through an exclusive option agreement with private owner Wayne Benham.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Pioneer will acquire an undivided 100% interest in Benham by paying an initial exercise fee of $56,000 to Mr Benham.

If the sale goes ahead, the company will make milestone payments totalling approximately $365,000 over a 48-month period.

Pioneer will pay an additional $280,000 on the announcement of a mineral resource of at least 10 million tonnes at 1% lithium oxide (or equivalent).

Valuable addition

At the time of the acquisition, Pioneer managing director Clinton Booth said Benham would be a valuable addition to the company’s existing portfolio.

“We are very pleased to have been able to achieve this acquisition with a structure that allows Pioneer to cost-effectively grow our asset base in a Tier-1 jurisdiction,” he said.

“It will position our company extremely well for future growth as we progress our lithium development strategy.”