European Lithium (ASX:EUR) has picked up a new 130sqkm Pilbara tenement prospective for iron ore and gold in a hotly contested ballot.

In March 2019, iron ore tenements held by a Chinese company near Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Cape Lambert port expired and were not renewed.

European Lithium — and 13 other explorers — immediately applied for exploration licences over the area.

Company chairman Tony Sage knows the area well. These 14 tenements surround the Mt Anketell iron deposit, which Sage’s Cape Lambert Resources (ASX:CFE) sold for $400m in 2008.

On September 18 a ballot was drawn, with European Lithium winning ~90 per cent of the available landholdings.

The company plans to kick off desktop studies on iron ore deposit extension opportunities previously identified by Cape Lambert when it held the project. But it’s not just iron ore the company is after.

Over the last five years the underlying geology of the area has been the source of conglomerate gold (which was all the rage in 2017) and, more recently, a new type of tier 1 discovery — De Grey’s (ASX:DEG) Hemi project:

European Lithium’s tenement in relation to ground held by Artemis, Novo, and De Grey.

European Lithium says it will immediately kick off early stage reconnaissance exploration to test the conglomerate gold potential of the tenements.

“The ballot victory for EUR is a massive win for the company,” Sage says.

“It allows EUR and its strategic advisors Talaxis to continue to progress with the advanced Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria at a time when there is significant EU focus on regional EV metal development as well as now add — for next to nothing — a strategic landholding in the North West of Western Australia.

“Importantly, the tenement area has never been tested for conglomerate gold given it is only a recently discovered geological phenomenon over the last few years.

“The geology certainly supports the potential to host that style of deposit and we can’t wait to commence reconnaissance exploration to test the theory.”