Latin Resources talks Catamarca Lithium Project


by Carolyn Herbert

Transcription of Finance News Network interview with Latin Resources Limited (ASX:LRS) Managing Director, Chris Gale.

Carolyn Herbert: Hello, I’m Carolyn Herbert from the Finance News Network. Joining me from lithium explorer, Latin Resources Limited (ASX:LRS), is Managing Director, Chris Gale. Chris, welcome to FNN.

Chris Gale: Thanks for having us, Carolyn.

Carolyn Herbert: Can you start by giving us an introduction to Latin Resources?

Chris Gale: Latin Resources has been operating in South America now for eight years. We initially explored Peru and we’ve got two projects there. We have a copper project, which is joint ventured out to a company called First Quantum Minerals Limited (TSE:FM). First Quantum is a large Canadian copper producer and we also have a mineral sands project there. Of late, over the last six months, we’ve been exploring Argentina and we’ve come across some great lithium projects and hard rock lithium, which are pegmatites. And we’ve currently started drilling, so very exciting times for us.

Carolyn Herbert: Looking more closely at the company’s Catamarca lithium project in Argentina. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Chris Gale: We have three projects now in Argentina. Catamarca was the first project that we actually secured, it’s 100 per cent owned by Latin Resources. We have over 70,000 hectares there. We also have another project called San Luis, which is in another province of Argentina. We have 24,000 hectares of pegmatite concessions in that district. And we’ve also optioned up a project in the district of Salta. That’s more of a tantalum lithium type project, but we need to do a bit more work there. But the work we’re focusing on at the moment is Catamarca, and we’ve just started drilling on that project.

Carolyn Herbert: What’s the next step in proving up the resource?

Chris Gale: As I mentioned, we’ve started drilling. We’ll initially drill Catamarca. Catamarca will be 3,000 metres of drilling, 28 holes over the next two or three weeks, RC drilling. So we’ll have assays coming out towards the end of February in that project. If we don’t need to continue any more drilling, we’ll move the rigs down to San Luis, our second project. Which is basically the same thing as Catamarca – old spodumene mines, lithium mines that were mined in the 1930s and 1940s.

So we’ll drill San Luis. We’ll move a team up into Ansotana the Salta project, to carry out some due diligence. What we want to try and actually find out is which project will be the best projects for us – to actually spend more time and more money on, to define a JORC resource. So the initial drilling is basically exploratory and will give us some good grades hopefully. And then we can then determine which project we want to focus on after that.

Carolyn Herbert: Now to your concessions in San Luis. Are there any conditions attached to those?

Chris Gale: No, once again they’re 100 per cent owned. We’ve been operating in South America for a long time; we prefer to have our concessions 100 per cent. In saying that though, we have a very good potential project up in Salta, which we’ve optioned up to eventually, potentially take that project over the 100 per cent level as well.

Carolyn Herbert: At what point will you have a JORC resource?

Chris Gale: That’s a good question. Once we’ve determined which project we are to define that JORC resource, we think it would take probably 2 - 3 months to complete that round of drilling, and have the assays out. We’re aiming for the end of June, so the second quarter. It may head into the third quarter, but more than likely we’d like to think we can have that completed by the end of June. What’s the size of the resource, you’re probably going to ask next – we’re not sure. But I will say that if you look out there at the other players, there are 60 explorations in the name of lithium explorers in the Australian Stock Exchange.

Six of those players have a JORC resource and they range all the way from 120 million tonnes, down to around 30 million tonnes. When you’re dealing with lithium, our view is that a million tonnes runner mine (normally at a reasonable grade of lithium Li2o) would probably produce around 100,000 tonnes of spodumene. So we’re not looking for a billion tonnes at 0.5 per cent like you do in copper. This is something that we think is very achievable – to have a JORC resource by the end of June.

Carolyn Herbert: What’s your funding position looking like for 2017?

Chris Gale: We currently have around $1 million in the bank. Interestingly enough, on March 9th, we have two cent options that expire. We hope to have those options in the money. If that is proven, that we can have those options in the money, we actually have 330 million options out there. That’ll bring roughly in about $6 million. So that’ll be a great outcome for Latin Resources. But we’ve got to get the results and the fundamentals to allow that to happen, in my view.

Carolyn Herbert: Finally Chris. Where would you like to see Latin Resources six months from now, or in the longer term?

Chris Gale: Our objectives and milestones over the coming months – to get some drilling completed, define which project we’re going to focus on. From that point, we’ll move into a JORC resource over the next 3 - 6 months. And this company’s all about going into production with lithium, with spodumene concentrate. So there’s a long way to go yet. Ultimately, in 12 months time, I’d like to think we’ll practically have a PFS, a prefeasibility study completed, and moving into designing in our plant.

Carolyn Herbert: Chris Gale, thanks for the introduction to Latin Resources.

Chris Gale: Thanks for having me.


Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.