Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) - diversified explorer


by Rachael Jones

Latin Resources Limited (ASX:LRS) Executive Director Chris Gale provides an update on projects in South America and Australia, strategy and outlook. 

Rachael Jones: Hello. I'm Rachael Jones for the Finance News Network. Joining me from Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) is Executive Director Chris Gale. Chris, welcome back to FNN.

Chris Gale: Thanks very much, Rachael. Great to be here.

Rachael Jones: Great to see you. Now, Latin Resources has exploration projects in South America and now Australia. Can you tell us more about this?

Chris Gale: Our, I suppose, strategy has always been to develop our projects in South America, to get them to a certain point where we can attract quality joint venture partners or JV partners. We've been able to do that in Peru with our copper project. We had First Quantum as our joint venture partner there. But in recent times we just secured Integra Capital, a private equity group who's based in Argentina. And they will commence, I suppose, funding, but using our exploration expertise to help them develop our lithium projects in Argentina. Basically, now we have all of South America fully funded with our JV partners, so we decided to look at a few projects here in Australia. Around October of 2019, last year, we secured the Noombenberry Halloysite Kaolin Project here in Western Australia. And early this year we secured Yarara Gold Project in the Lachlan Fold in New South Wales.

Rachael Jones: Thanks, Chris. Now our audience would be familiar with your Catamarca Lithium Project. Can you tell us about this first?

Chris Gale: Yeah. Look, we drilled that project two years ago. We came up with some very good, I suppose, grades. Compared to here in Western Australia, we typically get 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent grade in our hard rock spodumene here in WA. But we were getting around 1.5, 2 per cent in our grades in Catamarca. It's an excellent state to carry out mining, and now with a locally based finance partner, Integra Capital, we can actually move forward and start to develop those projects, we'd like to think fairly quickly.

Rachael Jones: Now, as you mentioned there, Chris, in Peru you have a JV with a subsidiary of Canadian copper producer First Quantum Minerals. How is that progressing?

Chris Gale: It's going quite well, Rachael. The only issue we have there, of course, is this COVID in Peru. We're still getting around 5,000 to 6,000 COVID cases a day, which is terrible for that country. So it's really constrained us to some extent. We hope to get back out on the ground and finish our geophysics on that particular project over the next couple of months, but we have to be mindful of what's happening in that country. It's still in lockdown. So, once we finish those geophysics, that will help us define our drill targets, and then we, hopefully, can move into drilling once that's finished. But, at the moment, with some severe restrictions there, it obviously makes it very tough for the company to move forward on that project.

Rachael Jones: Now, back to Australia, you have a gold project just north of Albury, in the Lachlan Fold Belt. What does it contain and what's planned for there?

Chris Gale: Well, this particular project we picked up, the Yarara Gold Project, there is lots of historical work in. So, typically when you're looking, and certainly we use this method in South America a lot -- we go and try and find where the old timers have been looking for certain minerals. In this aspect, it's gold. There's some high-grade zones through there. We've seen historical records showing grades up to 30 to 40 grams per ton. Obviously, they could only really explore down to 30 or 40 metres 100 years ago, so we're going to use new exploration methods to actually go through there, have a look initially at surface, and then run some geophysics and a few other programs to define some drill targets. And then, obviously, drilling is what it's all about to see how much gold is in there. Hopefully, there's some good grades. So, we're very excited about getting onto the ground in that project very soon.

Rachael Jones: And in WA you have a halloysite kaolin project. Could you explain what a halloysite kaolin is, and could you comment on its applications and the demand for that?

Chris Gale: Yeah, certainly. Typically, the traditional applications for kaolin, and certainly halloysite to some point, has been paper and ceramics. But, of recent times, with a number of new methods, patents being put out there, and certainly halloysite being used in nanotechnology, certainly in battery and construction industry to, once again, strengthen concrete, that type of thing. So we're seeing more and more applications grow, which is driving the demand for kaolin and halloysite, which is driving the price up. So, it is a really good business to be in at the moment. We're finding, I think, that there's strong demand. Certainly two or three companies here in WA. I notice one company, WA Kaolin, is about to list. They'll come on with about a 50 to 60 million market cap. So, typically we want to get in there, drill that project. That will happen very, very soon. And then try and develop a third JORC resource very, very quickly.

Rachael Jones: And could you tell us about this project?

Chris Gale: Well, yeah. The project is located 300 kilometres northeast of Fremantle, great infrastructure, access is excellent. And the other great thing about drilling these projects, it's not expensive. And we only really have to drill around to about 50, 60 metres, which will allow us to move swiftly onto this particular project. If there's grade there, fantastic. We can define a JORC resource very, very quickly. And that is our objective with the Noombenberry Halloysite Kaolin Project.

Rachael Jones: And to the last question now, Chris, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Chris Gale: Well, I think I just should mention that the news flow coming out of Latin over the next two to four months, or certainly over this quarter and into 2021, is going to be rapid, it's going to be a lot of news flow and based around fundamentals of drilling, and hopefully defining resources, so we can actually improve the value of the company.

Rachael Jones: Chris Gale, nice to hear from you again. Thanks so much for the update.

Chris Gale: Thanks very much, Rachael. Thank you.


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