Zenith Minerals secures Mt Ida North project under new lithium alliance
Zenith Minerals (ASX: ZNC) and EV Metals Group have secured a new lithium project in Western Australia under an option to purchase arrangement.
The Mt Ida North project, located near Leonora in the state’s goldfields region, will be explored under the Australian Lithium Alliance (ALA), which is a separate arrangement to the partners’ existing Zenith lithium joint venture.
The new asset has a geological architecture similar to Zenith’s Waratah Well project and the nearby Bald Hills lithium mine (formerly owned by de-listed Tawana Resources).
A similar picture is also noted at Liontown Resources’ (ASX: LTR) Kathleen Valley lithium project where narrow surface pegmatite dykes merge at depth to form a thick, flat-lying lithium spodumene-rich sill.
Option to purchase
Mt Ida North is subject to an option to purchase agreement between ALA and the project’s private owner.
Key terms include a $20,000 up-front option fee for a 90-day due diligence period and a minimum exploration spend on the project during that period of $15,000.
These terms have been met by ALA and the partners have elected to proceed to the next step of project evaluation, which requires a minimum $80,000 of exploration expenditure.
The option to acquire 100% of the project will be met on payment of a further $100,000 before October, with subsequent milestone-based payments of $250,000 on granting of a mining lease and $500,000 following commissioning of a lithium plant.
Numerous pegmatite dykes
The Mt Ida North project comprises numerous widespread (1 square kilometre), outcropping, sub-vertical lithium pegmatite dykes, each measuring up to 20m in thickness.
The geochemistry is believed to be indicative of lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) fertile pegmatites with strongly anomalous indicator elements such as rubidium (up to 2,307 parts per million) and tantalum (up to 98ppm).
The lithium and rubidium soil geochemical anomalies are coincident with the pegmatite outcrop and extend along a 3.5km trend to the north.
Zenith said the geological setting of Mt Ida North is similar to a recent lithium pegmatite discovery in the region by Red Dirt Metals (ASX: RDT) which is located approximately 15km along strike to the south near the contact of the Copperfield granite.
ALA expects to launch a maiden, three-week 12-hole drilling program at Mt Ida North in June.
Zenith and EV Metals Group have agreed to work together on a non-exclusive basis to assess lithium opportunities in Australia under the ALA strategic initiative.
The companies have agreed to share costs relating to the assessment, exploration and development of future projects including Mt Ida North, with EV Metals Group owning the marketing rights to any offtake.
Each company will bring their own technical, financial and management skills to assess lithium opportunities under the alliance.