Cauldron Energy’s 15 month search for a non-uranium project is over, with the explorer buying two lithium projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The company’s share price was up 5 per cent up 3.9c on the news — its highest point since June.

When the WA state government implemented a ban on most new uranium mines in 2017, Cauldron (ASX:CXU) stopped work at its flagship Yanrey uranium project and began searching for advanced exploration plays in other commodities, mostly in Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But they found something far closer to home, entering into an agreement to buy the Pippingarra and Marble Bar lithium projects from private explorer Mercury Resources Group for cash and shares.

Cauldron Energy will pay Mercury Resources 40 million shares, 40 million options, 60 million performance shares, and $500,000 in cash in two instalments.

The location of Cauldron's new lithium projects
The location of Cauldron’s new lithium projects

Pippingarra is just 27km from the major export port of Port Hedland and next to another potential new lithium discovery by major iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

The Marble Bar project contains a lithium bearing pegmatite (the primary source of lithium) swarm which is 3.5km long and 4km wide.

Initial sampling returned assays as high as 3.72 per cent lithium, with average grades of 1.85 per cent.

The typical grades of a hard rock lithium mine range between 0.9 and 1.6 per cent.

Cauldron said a comprehensive exploration program will kick off as soon as  the transaction is completed.

Cauldron, which has traded between 2.6c and 7.7c over the past year, had cash and cash equivalents of $1.9m at the end of June.