Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX:PLS) is pleased to advise that it has signed two agreements with Altura Mining Limited (ASX: AJM – “Altura”), formalising a framework for ongoing cooperation between the two companies in the development of their adjoining lithium-tantalum deposits.
Altura’s deposit immediately adjoins Pilbara’s Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project to the south-west and the proximity of the two projects offers numerous opportunities to unlock logistical, operational and strategic synergies with the potential to deliver benefits to both companies.
Pilbara and Altura’s exploration and development teams have already been cooperating at an operational level for some time, with the agreements announced today formalising this already strong working relationship – supporting each company’s strategy to advance their respective projects towards production as rapidly as possible.
A Joint Access Agreement provides for Pilbara and Altura to mutually remove any objections to tenure applications made by either company and for sharing of site access roads and pipeline locations, with the distribution of costs incurred proportionately.
This access agreement will assist Pilbara in its strategy to fast-track the development of its Pilgangoora Lithium- Tantalum Project. A Definitive Feasibility Study on the Pilgangoora Project is currently in its final stages and is expected to be released in early September following review by the Board of Pilbara Minerals.
Pilbara and Altura have also executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a framework to jointly evaluate the potential to expand or jointly exploit the lithium-rich pegmatite zones which have now been established as crossing the tenement boundaries between the two projects.
This potential has been confirmed by resource/reserve drilling programs conducted by both companies, in conjunction with sterilisation drilling at planned infrastructure locations on both sides of the tenement boundaries.
This work has delineated a series of mineralised pegmatites which cross the tenement boundaries and offer the potential to expand and/or further optimise the reserve inventories and mining schedules currently being developed independently by Pilbara and Altura.
Pilbara’s Managing Director and CEO, Ken Brinsden, said the agreements signed with Altura put in place a firm framework for cooperation between the two companies which had the potential to deliver important benefits for both sides.
“The synergies between the two projects are compelling, given that recent drilling has essentially confirmed that the mineralisation on either side of the tenement boundaries essentially forms part of the same orebody in our Southern Zone,” Mr Brinsden said.
“The Access Agreement and MOU put in place a collaborative framework which ensures that both companies can move ahead quickly with their development plans, while also jointly evaluating opportunities to optimise the reserves and mining schedules by considering the potential to exploit mineralisation which crosses the tenement boundaries.
“We are pleased to have entered into these agreements with Altura, which demonstrates a positive and collaborative approach to the development of valuable resources in this State which will ultimately benefit a wide range of stakeholders.”
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