The Bass Metals purchase, Millie’s Reward, is part of a license with existing mining approval.
Millie’s Reward is a highly prospective conventional spodumene hosted Li2O deposit. Preliminary geological mapping has demonstrated a majority of the pegmatite dykes in the area as having sub-horizontal to horizontal orientations over significant strike lengths.
A majority of the pegmatitic dykes and sills within the mining permits are over 10 m in thickness, with swells in areas of up to 50 m in thickness, while being up to several hundred metres in length.
Most of the large dykes have been subject to very little modern geological assessment, as all the mining activity performed in the past occurred at an artisanal scale, operated by the local miners working for gemstones.
Bass Metals has entered into a binding term sheet with Ruby-Red Madagascar subject to successful due diligence over a three-month exclusivity period, to acquire two contiguous mining permits and the lithium mining rights for a third mining permit in Madagascar, that are prospective for pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralisation.
The proposed transaction for Millie’s Reward is consistent with Bass Metals’ stated strategy to leverage its in-country producer status in Madagascar to appraise further opportunities in this highly prospective jurisdiction.
On finalising the acquisition Bass Metals will immediately conduct a systematic exploration program over the project area, including a mapping and sampling program aimed at identifying targets for a follow up drilling program.
Bass Metals believes that the current strong demand for lithium concentrates is likely to be sustained for the foreseeable future.
Lithium demand has increased substantially in the last five years, expanding from a traditional range of applications including industrial applications augmented by consumer electronics and health products to now encompass rapidly expanding automotive and energy storage applications.
While much of this growth has been led by China where government policy has mandated the rapid update of battery technology in both domestic and commercial vehicles, all major global automotive companies are now either offering or developing lithium ion battery or hybrid vehicles.
Growth in the range of 10% to 20% CAGR is forecast for the sector over the next five years driving demand which may require approximately 500 000 tons of lithium carbonate to satisfy. Current world production is approximately 180 000 tons.
“The team is excited to bring a project like Millie’s Reward into our portfolio, especially as it’s fully permitted for exploration and potential development,” says Bass Metals CEO, Tim McManus.
“The company’s primary focus remains optimising the premium asset of Graphmada to generate positive cash flows in 2017.
“When these cash flows become available we will seek to invest in expanding production at Graphmada and developing an increasingly exciting portfolio of projects, which includes the Andapa jumbo flake deposit and the potentially highly prospective Millie’s Reward project.”
“We are also pleased with our recent progress at the Mahefedok jumbo flake deposit and look forward to receiving the assay results from Bureau Veritas with the aim of completing a maiden resource estimate this quarter for the deposit.”
Feature image credit: Bass Metals
(A typical outcropping lithium bearing pegmatitic vein within the Millie’s Reward project area)