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Askari Metals widens Namibian footprint, ramps up lithium hunt

Updated: Mar 26

Askari Metals has claimed the final piece of its EPL 7345 tenement in Namibia. Credit: File

Askari Metals has expanded the footprint of its Uis lithium project in Namibia after completing the acquisition of the remaining 10 per cent of tenement EPL 7345.

The company took full ownership of the tenement, which covers about 114 square kilometres after it picked up the remaining 10 per cent stake in the private company which had owned the ground. Management says it will now aggressively ramp up its lithium hunt in the southern African country.

Under the terms of the deal, Askari issued 279,255 of its ordinary shares to Jenny Elaine van der Walt – whose company Kokerboom Mineral Processing Pty Ltd had held the ground. A total of 139,628 of the shares will be subject to six months in voluntary escrow from the date of issue, with 69,814 shares subject to three months voluntary escrow from the date of issue. The remaining shares will be freely tradeable.

Finalisation of the deal comes after Askari pocketed 90 per cent of the tenement back in April.

Acquiring the remaining 10% interest in EPL 7345 provides the Company maximum flexibility in the future development of the Uis Lithium Project. Our Phase II RC drilling program has demonstrated the significant exploration potential of this project and we are eager to mobilise a diamond drill rig to site to test the depth and strike potential of the significant lithium-bearing mineralised pegmatite that we recently discovered. Askari Metals executive director Gino D’Anna

The company is continuing its lithium mission at Uis, with phase-two drilling revealing new lithium-bearing pegmatites with widths of up to 112 metres following a campaign of 55 drill holes for 3367m.

Planning is now underway for a follow-up diamond drilling program to complete testing of the pegmatites, which were unveiled during the company’s first round of exploration.

The 112m lithium-bearing pegmatite will be the priority target for the program, with a 1500m campaign to then focus on depth extensions of known pegmatites, in addition to aiming the drill bit under the aquifer into fresh unoxidised rock. Further exploration will be guided by a review of all results from the company’s first two phases of drilling.

With plenty more drilling on the horizon, Askari has begun planning for core cutting and core storage facilities close to its project, which covers 308sq km in a highly-mineralised, spodumene-rich pegmatite belt with a history of prior production and exploration success. 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.

Demand for lithium continues across the globe. On Monday, US auto juggernaut Ford entered into a series of new deals to source battery-grade lithium, as it plans to scale up electric vehicle production and take advantage of the tax credits available from the Biden administration.

Robust local demand for environmentally-friendly vehicles has sent North American automakers scrambling for a steady supply of raw materials to increase output in a market dominated by automotive and clean energy giant, Tesla.

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