Lithium minnow Novo Litio’s court case against the vendors of its Sepeda project in Portugual has been pushed to December.

Novo’s (ASX:NLI) share price slipped 10.5 per cent to 6.8c on the legal update. The shares closed Wednesday at 7.2c, down 5 per cent.

The company launched injunction proceedings against privately-owned Portuguese exploration junior Lusorecursos in September to protect its interests in the Sepeda project.

The dispute 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.

Novo Litio shares over the past six months. Source:
Novo Litio shares over the past six months. Source:

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.

Novo was expecting to head to court before the end of November, but has now been advised that the hearing has been postponed to give Lusorecursos time to review new documentation in the case.

The company’s legal counsel remains confident that the hearing will be held prior to the December 7 deadline, Novo said.

At the end of the September quarter, Novo had about $13.7 million in the bank and in early October added a further $4 million from the sale of the Pilbara Minerals shares it owned.

Throughout the legal battle, the company has still been able to continue work at the Sepeda project, but is expecting a lower cash burn of $945,000 in the current quarter compared to the $1.5 million spent in the September quarter.

Novo received its first strike at this week’s AGM after more than 25 per cent of the votes cast were against the company’s remuneration report.

If the company receives a second strike at next year’s AGM, shareholders can vote to spill the board.