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Askari Metals puts strategic markets nous behind lithium project

Askari Metals has brought Canaccord on board as a strategic capital markets advisor. Credit: File

Askari Metals has installed Canaccord Genuity (Australia) as its strategic capital markets advisor – a move that has bolstered its development mission for its Uis lithium project in Namibia.

Management says the renowned investment bank, which says it has been entrusted with more than $15 billion in clients’ funds, has a proven track record and extensive experience in the global lithium sector.

Central to Canaccord’s new role will be the implementation and deployment of a comprehensive capital markets strategy and as part of the deal it will be issued with 2.5 million unlisted options, each with an exercise price of 80 cents and an expiry date of three years from the date of issue.

With Askari powering on with the development of its Uis project, Canaccord will be working closely with the company and boutique investment management firm, Peak Asset Management, to fulfil its remit.

The recent strategic investment with Huayou has emphasised the need to have a comprehensive capital markets strategy in place and Canaccord will work closely with the company and Peak Asset Management to ensure we are well supported. Askari Metals executive director Gino D’Anna

The news continues an active boardroom month for Askari after it recently sealed a $2.5 million strategic equity investment from global battery materials supply giant, Huayou International Resources, with the funds to be used to turbocharge lithium exploration at Uis.

At the time of that deal, management revealed it had issued Huayou 4.5 million fully-paid ordinary shares at an issue price of 55 cents, in addition to 1.5 million free attaching options. The shares are all subject to a 12-month voluntary escrow period, while the options are freely-tradeable.

Askari’s Uis project covers 308 square kilometres in a highly-mineralised, spodumene-rich pegmatite belt with a history of prior production and exploration success. The company says its project holds exceptional potential, as identified by due diligence sample results and a high number of pegmatites exposed at the surface, ranging from a few metres in width to more than 50m wide.

Many of the pegmatites have been mined historically for tin and semi-precious stones and altered spodumene and lepidolite are visible within the workings and in the mined rock around them.

The project sits less than 5km from the township of Uis and less than 2.5km from Andrada’s operating lithium-tin-tantalum mine in west-central Namibia. Andrada’s Uis mine has resources of 81 million tonnes at 0.73 per cent lithium oxide, 0.15 per cent tin and 0.14 per cent rubidium. It gives the mine a total resource metal content of 1.45 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent, 120,000 tonnes of tin metal and 109,400 tonnes of rubidium with substantial tantalum.

Andrada believes its mine is world-class and expects to eventually expand its resources to about 200 million tonnes.

Askari bought about a third of its ground last month and sampled various pegmatite outcrops during its due diligence work. Assays identified high-grade lithium, tin, tantalum and rubidium up to 2.11 per cent lithium oxide, 1.3 per cent tin, 658 parts per million tantalum and 4214ppm rubidium.

The work also identified several types of pegmatite, including those hosting lithium-caesium-tantalum and caesium-depleted pegmatites that have more correlation with tin and tantalum.

With last week’s show-stopping news of Allkem’s $US10.6 billion (AU$16 billion) merger dominating global headlines and putting a spring in the step of all lithium explorers, Askari appears to be assembling the right sort of cast to take it from ASX micro-cap to serious lithium player.

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