BUCKELL LITHIUM PROJECT
On September 22, 2016 TANTALEX announced an important joint-venture with COMINIÈRE SA, a private company in which 90% of the share capital is state-owned by the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”), and 10% is owned by L’Institut National de Sécurité Sociale du Congo, DRC’s largest Social Security and Pension fund. The joint-venture entity is named United Cominière sas (“UNITED COMINIÈRE”). This joint-venture is unique opportunity as the State-owned entity has agreed to terms whereby UNITED COMINIÈRE will retain a 70% stake in the JV via our subsidiary Sandstone Worldwide Ltd, and COMINIÈRE SA will retain 30%.
The Buckell Lithium project is located 600 km north of Lubumbashi near the town of Manono, Tanganyika province, Democratic Republic of Congo. The claims are found within a Mesoproterozoic geological structure, showing strong evidence of Lithium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) Pegmatites. Furthermore, the properties are located adjacent to and along strike south of the world-class LCT-Pegmatite Manono-Kitotolo (MK) mine, which has been defined as the largest pegmatitic deposit of spodumene, tin and tantalite ever worked (Bassot et Mario 1989). Previously owned by Geomines SA Belgium mining company, six open pit mines operated at MK from 1915 to 1988, producing 140,000-185,000 tonnes of tin and 4,500 tonnes of coltan concentrate. The remaining pegmatite deposit could exceed 500Mt to a depth of 125m. (Zairetain 1981). Metallurgical test work carried out in 1956, 1976 and 1981 demonstrated that a 6% lithium concentrate was produced at average tailings grade of 1.25% Li using a combination of heavy media separation, tables and spirals.
The properties also offer accessibility to nearby infrastructure such as electricity, roads, dams and aircraft runways, to which UNITED COMINIÈRE has guaranteed access through the joint-venture partnership with the State.
Buckell Lithium Project NI 43-101 Technical Report:
Exploration work and results to date
- January 2017: NI 43-101 Technical Report confirms claims 12447 & 12448 (Buckell Project) show strong evidence of Lithium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) Pegmatites. Properties are located adjacent to and along strike southwest of the world-class LCT-Pegmatites Manono & Kitotolo.
- May 2017: Results from geochemical analysis of initial phase ground sampling program confirm presence of minerals typically derived from LCT-Pegmatitic mineralization, such as lithium, tantalum and tin.
- October 2017: Results from airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys indicate the major SW geologic trend which hosts the lithium bearing spodumene pegmatites known as Manono & Kitotolo, adjacent to the east of the Buckell Property, extends on strike into and through the Buckell Property.
Interpretation of the results received to date indicate that:
- The South-West trend of the adjoining property’s formations containing the major spodumene (Li, Sn, Ta) pegmatites known as Manono and Kitotolo, to the east side of the Buckell property, extends on strike through the Buckell Property.
- What appear to be South-West trending shearing following the main geological trend, crosses the top third of the Property, suggesting a target area for extension of bodies similar to the Manono and Kitotolo Li, Sn, Ta pegmatites onto Buckell.
- Coincident strong anomalies of all three radiometric maps indicates outcrop is very close to the surface, particularly in the western half of the Property.
Lithium is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Although lithium is widely distributed on Earth, it does not naturally occur in elemental form due to its high reactivity. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. These uses consume more than three quarters of lithium production.
After the 2007 financial crisis, major suppliers dropped lithium carbonate pricing by 20%. Prices rose in 2012. A 2012 Business Week article outlined the oligopoly in the lithium space: "SQM, controlled by billionaire Julio Ponce, is the second-largest, followed by Rockwood, which is backed by Henry Kravis’s KKR & Co., and Philadelphia-based FMC". Global consumption may jump to 300,000 metric tons a year by 2020 from about 150,000 tons in 2012, to match the demand for lithium batteries that has been growing at about 25 percent a year, outpacing the 4 percent to 5 percent overall gain in lithium production (sources: Bloomberg Business Week, PR Newswire, May 1, 2013).