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Junior explorer Walkabout Resources is positioning itself to become a dominant player in Namibian lithium.

The company (ASX:WKT) has struck a deal to earn up to a 75 per cent stake in another prospecting licence adjoining its Eureka lithium project.

Walkabout’s goal is to “assemble a dominant holding for lithium prospectivity within Namibia” executive chairman Trevor Benson said.

Investors liked the news, pushing the shares up 26 per cent to 12.5c on Thursday.

WKT shares over the past six months. Source: Investing.com
WKT shares over the past six months. Source: Investing.com

The earn-in deal gives Walkabout an exploration footprint of over 2000 sq km in the “highly prospective and under-explored” Orange River pegmatite belt of Namibia.

Pegmatites are rocks formed from lava or magma that often contain rare earth minerals and crystals. They are the primary source of lithium.

The extra tenement gives Walkabout access to an additional 120 previously unmapped and un-sampled pegmatites and control over 90km of pegmatite strike length within the Eureka project.

Mr Benson told Stockhead that chief geologist Andrew Cunningham, who has spent his life in geology in Namibia, was keen for Walkabout to get its hands on the Eureka licences.

“They were mapped originally by the South African and Namibian government — their survey departments — but they’ve never ever had any work done, but there have been occurrences of lithium down there,” he said.

Lithium under the radar… until now 

Until recently, lithium has not been a highly sought-after commodity and very few explorers went looking for it — especially in African countries because it was a notoriously difficult jurisdiction to get mining projects into production.

But with the lithium market now witnessing favourable supply demand dynamics thanks to the growing lithium-ion battery market, many Australian juniors are now on the hunt for the commodity all over the world, including in Africa.

Namibia “is a very good place to do business”, Mr Benson said. “It’s very mining orientated. We know it very well, so we’re very comfortable with it.”

Walkabout has spent the past couple of years building up its lithium-prospective landholding in the country.

Mr Cunningham, who is Namibian, has worked in Africa for 20 years and Allan Mulligan, mining engineer and executive director, is South African and has worked in the country for 35 years building and operating mines.

Walkabout expects to begin an exploration program, including rock chip sampling, over its expanded landholding within the month.

The company can earn its 75 per cent stake in the new prospecting licence by spending $200,000 on exploration and defining a resource.