Junior explorer Birimian has announced some crucial (but non-binding) agreements with big Chinese companies to help move its hefty Goulamina lithium project into production.

Birimian (ASX:BGS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with major Chinese chemical convertor General Lithium for 200,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate – about 55 per cent of planned production capacity at Goulamina.

Spodumene is the main lithium bearing mineral mined from most hard rock lithium mines around the world.

Under the non-binding MOU, the companies will kick off discussions toward signing a binding off-take agreement “that includes terms of pricing and quantities”.

A letter of intent (LOI) with subsidiary of the mammoth China Minmetals Corporation – which made revenues of more than $100 billion in 2017 – to discuss things like Goulamina project financing and offtake was announced the same morning.

Like an MOU, an LOI doesn’t create any binding legal obligation between the parties.

China Minmetals subsidiary Changsha Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy is a specialist Chinese metallurgical, mining, research and development company, according to Birimian.

Under the LOI, Birimian and Changsha will discuss opportunities to progress Goulamina “including but not limited to project finance, off-take and EPC matters”, Birimian told investors.

The agreement also covers “collaborative work to determine how the two parties can together advance, or leverage off, the Changsha groups’ expertise with respect to the project”.

Birimian reckons that its low cost Goulamina project in Mali is one of the world’s largest spodumene mineral resources, at 103.2 million tonnes grading 1.34 per cent lithium.

The company has started a feasibility study on an operation producing 362,000 tonnes each year of 6 per cent lithium oxide spodumene concentrate.

It’s great news for a company having a rocky time of late, with three directors and a company secretary recently bowing to shareholder pressure and stepping down.

Birimian is currently in a trading halt while it conducts a “review of its activities”.

Stockhead reached out to Birimian for additional comment.