Power Minerals, Summit commit to development of Incahuasi lithium JV
Special Report: Development of Power Minerals’ Incahuasi salar within its Salta lithium project has been significantly de-risked by the execution of a binding terms sheet with direct lithium extraction partner Summit Nanotech.
In August, Power Minerals (ASX:PNN) and Summit reached an agreement regarding Summit’s strategic investment in Incahuasi, one of five salares that sit within seven mining leases at the 147.07km2 Salta project.
Incahuasi currently has a resource of 249,308t of lithium carbonate equivalent at an average concentration of 198mg/l lithium.
Summit’s patented denaLi technology can produce lithium from brines with over 95% lithium recovery, best-in-class low freshwater use, minimal consumables and greenhouse gases as well as low power consumption whilst reducing impurities by over 98%.
Notably, first stage test work has already proved that the denaLi sorbent and water recovery solution can effectively treat brines from Incahuasi to produce a low impurity lithium chloride concentrate.
With the execution of the binding terms sheet, Summit can now earn 30% in the joint venture over the Incahuasi salar by completing a strategic investment of up to US$3m in PNN and completing a successful pilot test of Incahuasi brines to provide key data for a pre-feasibility study.
The first tranche of the strategic investment – involving the subscription of US$2m worth of PNN shares at 50c each – has already been completed, leaving Summit to complete the second tranche subscription of a further US$1m of PNN shares at a 25% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price one the date prior to execution of the terms sheet.
Summit can earn a further 15% in the JV – taking its stake up to 45% – under the second option by contributing to an onsite demonstration plant with capacity of up to 1,000t and participating in a definitive feasibility study within one year of completing the first option at an expected cost of US$20m to deliver enhanced project value.
It can also increase its stake by a further 4.9%, giving it 34.9% or 49.9% if it exercises the second option, if the results of the denaLi pilot testing meet specified performance requirements of one Tier-1 or two Tier-2 potential offtake partners.
Both companies will now establish a technical committee to provide management and technical oversight to help ensure successful completion of the first option.
“We are delighted with the progress of our partnership with Summit, and the execution of the binding term sheet is another key step in our mutual goal to unlock the value of the Incahuasi salar for the benefit of our shareholders,” PNN managing director Mena Habib said.
“Summit has already completed first phase testing of Incahuasi lithium-bearing brines and successfully completed its due diligence pursuant to the BTS.
“In addition, we have already received the first tranche – $3.125m AUD – of Summit’s strategic investment under the BTS, and Summit has engaged a global engineering consultancy firm to undertake pre-feasibility stage design and engineering at Incahuasi.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Power Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.