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Galan Lithium in pole position for Catalina lithium pay

Galan Lithium is aiming to secure a position in the global battery manufacturing industry by producing lithium from brines. Credit: File

Galan Lithium has revealed details of a deal which it says has given it exclusive ownership of the vast Catalina tenements at its Hombre Muerto West lithium project in Argentina’s “Lithium Triangle”.

Management says it has secured ownership of the highly-prospective Argentinian ground that has been at the centre of a long-standing dispute by issuing 9.76 million shares to Catalina’s private owner. It will result in the consolidation of its land packages named Catalina, Rana de Sal II, Rana de Sal III, Pucara del Salar and Deceo I.

The company says its deal circumvents the dispute relating to the ground ownership between the adjacent Salta and Catamarca province governments, which control land either side of Catalina. The dispute has remained unresolved for more than 100 years and the company says it has no foreseeable resolution.

This acquisition represents a highly significant value accretive transaction for the Company. It resolves the security of tenure in this highly prospective area favourably for the exclusive benefit of Galan and its shareholders. As there are now no competing interests, our team can advance exploration and evaluation activities at Catalina with the objective of delineating a maiden resource. Furthermore, we plan to accelerate such work and look forward to keeping our shareholders informed of our progress.

The company says South Korean Steelmaker POSCO encountered the same issue at its disputed lithium ground nearby and set a precedent in the region by negotiating with both the Salta and Catamarca governments, gaining permits to operate from both. In an effort to follow suit, Galan says it has been communicating with both Catamarca and Salta in a bid to replicate the POSCO deal. Galan Lithium managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega

Galan says both provinces have indicated a possible replication and believes it has executed the necessary agreements to successfully register its full ownership of the Catalina tenure, as issued by the Catamarca and Salta authorities.

Management is now is eager to move ahead with developing Hombre Muerto West, which it says is expected to produce up to 60,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) per annum in four stages of development. The phase-two definitive feasibility study is expected to be released in September.

The company says it plans to take full advantage of its exclusive rights to explore Catalina and aims to disclose a maiden resource estimate for the project as soon as possible.

In May, the company revealed an increased mineral resource of 6.6 million tonnes of LCE at 880 milligrams per litre lithium at Hombre Muerto West. It also filled its coffers to the tune of $31.5 million from an institutional placement priced at $1.05 per share to help drive development at the Argentine project.

Earlier this month, Galan revealed its pilot plant produced a concentrate product at 6 per cent lithium – comparable to 13 per cent lithium oxide or 31.9 per cent lithium carbon equivalent (LCE).

Resolution of the disputed ownership of Catalina is with the Argentinian Federal Congress to deliver a final decision on ownership at some point in the future … whenever that may be.

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