Eye on Lithium: Azure snubs SQM takeover, shares still soar above offer price
Link copied to
All your lithium news, Tuesday August 15.
This year’s lithium darling Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) says it received ‘expression of interest’ from major shareholder Chilean lithium giant SQM to acquire the company and its massive Andover lithium resource in the West Pilbara.
Backed by Mark Creasy and with SQM also holding a 19.9% stake, Azure said it didn’t want a bar of the 12 July offer of $2.31 per share, valuing the stock at just over $900m.
Good move. Currently, its share value sits at $2.55 ($5m shy of a $1bn market cap) after a dreamy price spike to $2.96 on intra-day trading last week.
“Following careful consideration of the content of these approaches and in light of our rapidly evolving understanding of the potential of the Andover lithium project, Azure determined that the approaches did not warrant further engagement by the company and no further discussions have occurred,” Azure says.
Azure recently released an exploration target of between 100Mt and 240Mt, grading @ 1-1.5% Li2O for target areas 1, 2 and 3.
“This exploration target definitely puts us in the top 10 lithium deposits in the world,” AZS managing director Tony Rovira told Stockhead recently.
“If you take the upper part of the exploration target, that puts us in the top five lithium deposits in the world.”
Up ~1,000% this year and with six drill rigs out on the project, Rovira said Azure will now look to convert the exploration target into a mineral resource estimate in Q1 next year.
Meanwhile, celebrity lithium boffin Joe Lowry is coming to Australia – probably to smell some more “fresh-cut fairways” – and perhaps visit some mine sites once again. Keep an eye out.
Lowry says that the past promises from Argentina a decade ago to improve mining standards, accessibility and foreign investment are now finally starting to come to fruition.
— Joe Lowry (@globallithium) August 14, 2023
Here’s more news out of lithium plays today.
LKE is back in vogue with investors after posting some nifty brine sampling techniques it reckons will boost an upcoming definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.
LKE CEO David Dickson reckons extraction and injection tests have allowed them to optimise the future wellfields and are “indicative of high-yield, production-scale extraction wells in the core resource area”.
At wells KB and KC, pumping tests for brine extraction resulted in high transmissivity.
“This has improved the lithium concentration signature from the screened intervals (200-250m) from the exploration drilling phase sampling of 223.5 mg/l Li for KB and 223.0 mg/l Li for KC,” the company stated.
The project developer says these chemistry samples will have some impact on future resource calculations.
The minerals explorer has announced high-grade lithium assay results from its first reconnaissance rock-chip sampling at its newly acquired Trident lithium project near Broken Hill.
The project extends over the 20km strike length of the Euriowie Tin pegmatite field – a highly prospective location for hard-rock lithium mineralisation.
The company reckons the LCT-type pegmatites vary in size but are up to 100m wide and over 1km in length and have historically been mined for lithium and tin.
Further highlights include the fact 70% of the rock chips over the Trident lithium pegmatite mine have returned >5% Li2O.
Also, soil samples have returned up to 1,756ppm Li2O and geological mapping defined zoned pegmatites at the mine.
Additional rock-chip assays and soil results are anticipated in late August, while on-ground exploration will continue to be focused on the detailed mapping and sampling of the “abundant” pegmatites within the ~20km strike length.
QXR has identified multiple new pegmatites at its Western Shaw lithium project in the WA Pilbara, a prime location for hard rock discoveries.
Multiple pegmatites were identified and sampled in the west and south of the company’s Western Shaw leases, with encouraging lithium results from mobile XRF analysis.
Western Shaw is just one of QXR’s four large project areas, which also include Split Rock, Yule River and Turner River, with a combined size of >350km2.
“Multiple new targets are being generated with initial work yielding encouraging results, especially around identified pegmatites,” MD Steve Promnitz said.
“We are keen to advance exploration promptly.”
Rockchip sampling over outcropping pegmatites is now underway, with updates to the market imminent.
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While QX Resources and Azure Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.