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Asset-hungry Askari Metals seals deal for WA lithium project

Updated: Mar 26

Askari now holds more than 2300 square kilometres of prime lithium real estate. Credit: File

Askari Metals has expanded its lithium foothold in Western Australia’s Pilbara region by finalising its purchase of Greenstone Lithium’s 60-square-kilometre Hillside lithium project after fully acquiring the now former owner.

The deal has seen Askari part with 737,100 ordinary shares, which are subject to an escrow restriction period of 12 months from the date of issue. It also includes a net smelter royalty of one per cent on all minerals produced from the ground, while a further $1.5 million in shares will change hands should Askari have success with the drillbit.

Management says the acquisition takes the company’s landholding in WA’s emerging Eastern Pilbara lithium region to 2300sq km in an area that has become a hive of exploration activity. The Hillside lithium project covers two granted tenements considered prospective for lithium, tin and tantalum mineralisation.

Askari says its project is located in the “Tambourah Lithium District” along strike and adjacent to ASX-listed Eastern Resources’ Trigg Hill and East Curlew projects, where exploration has identified extensive pegmatites that have been drilled-tested. Management says the pegmatites can be followed along strike into Hillside.

The explorer’s new acquisition also sits less than 4km from Trek Metals’ Tambourah North lithium project where spodumene has recently been discovered in drilling and rock sampling.

The Hillside Lithium Project forms an integral component to the Company’s eastern Pilbara lithium portfolio in Western Australia. We believe the exploration potential of this project is significant, highlighted by the recent exploration success at the Tambourah Lithium Project owned by Riversgold Limited and the Tambourah North Lithium Project owned by Trek Metals Limited. Askari Metals Executive Director, Gino D’Anna

The company is now working on initial reconnaissance sampling of the outcropping pegmatites across its project. The results of the program will feed into further geochemical surveys, which when combined with upcoming satellite imagery, will provide the targets for planned air-core (AC) and reverse-circulation (RC) drilling campaigns.

Askari’s acquisition has again refocused attention on its Pilbara assets after its exploration efforts in Namibia produced a steady recent flow of news.

Earlier this month, the company intersected several 100m-wide pegmatites with multiple zones of lithium-bearing minerals in second-phase drilling at its Uis lithium project. While assay results are pending, it is not slowing its work-rate, with its next round of drilling – including the project’s first diamond drill holes – slated to begin in just weeks.

Askari’s 3367m, 55-drillhole phase-two RC drilling program on EPL 7345, one of two tenements at the Uis project, successfully logged 180 intervals containing visible spodumene across 25 drillholes.

The project sits less than 5km from the township of Uis and less than 2.5km from Andrada Mining’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.

The total mine resource sits at 1.45 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent, 120,000 tonnes of tin metal and 109,400 tonnes of rubidium with substantial tantalum.

So while its African project is heating up, things could also get interesting for Askari in the Pilbara once its drillbit starts spinning.

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