Lithium junior Novo Litio has kicked off legal proceedings against the vendors of its Sepeda project in Portugual.

News of Novo’s injunction proceedings against privately-owned Portuguese exploration junior Lusorecursos didn’t excite investors. The stock (ASX:NLI) finished Friday 9 per cent lower at 4.2c.

The brouhaha began back in June last year when Novo, then Dakota Minerals, inked a binding deal with Lusorecursos to acquire a tenement package over the three most prospective areas for spodumene and petalite-hosted lithium in Portugal.

Novo has been trying to get its hands on a mining licence application for the project before the current exploration licence expires on December 7.

However, Lusorecursos has been playing hard ball with Novo for several months as it seeks to replace the existing exploration licence with a mining licence.

It now seems any talks between the two parties have broken down with Novo left with no option but to go through the courts.

“The company has sought an urgent injunction to require Lusorecursos to fulfil the conditions necessary for the grant of the licence applications and the transfer of the licences to Novo Lítio,” the company said today.

Novo has always maintained it had a binding agreement to acquire from Lusorecursos all the licences covering Sepeda and Lusorecursos needed to satisfy the conditions for Ministerial consent for the grant and transfer of the licences.

The company hopes injunction proceedings will be decided on in November, which gives it time to submit the mining licence application before the December 7 deadline.

While this is all going on, Novo continues to have access to Sepeda project area and is continuing with exploration activities on project.

Last week, Novo snapped up 354 sq km around Sepeda to become the largest granted tenement landholders in the northern Portugal lithium belt.