HIPO Resources Ltd has executed a joint venture agreement with Crown Mining Sarl, in which it can earn a 60% interest in what is potentially a world-class lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Kamola Lithium Project Joint Venture will focus on a contiguous Mining Licence and two exploration licenses.
The joint venture will be held 60% by HIPO and 40% by Crown with the licences being in the prolific and world-class Manono and Kitolo Lithium pegmatite belt.
Other companies with assets in the same belt are AVZ Minerals Limited, Force Commodities Limited and Tantalex Resources Corp.
The Kamola Lithium Project is in an area with a concentration of large pegmatites, similar in structure to AVZ’s Manono project within the licence areas, allowing for a rapid and focused exploration plan.
The major lithium occurrences in the region were originally exposed by historic tin mining and this situation applies at Kamola, which has the potential to host a significant high-grade lithium resource.
Due diligence conducted by HIPO earlier this year confirmed the presence of five structural pegmatites. Two of these were tested and confirmed to be lithium-bearing.
These will be the focus of an initial drilling program in the first quarter of 2019 following further delineation work to be undertaken immediately.
The company’s joint venture partner Crown is an established tin and tantalum mining company in the DRC. Crown acquired the mining and exploration licences that make up the Kamola Lithium Project in 2008.
Key terms of the JV agreement include:
- Both parties to establish a DRC incorporated joint venture company which will be held 60% by HIPO and 40% by Crown;
- HIPO to fund, at its election, up to US$5 million in exploration and project development expenditure within three years to maintain its JV interest;
- US$1 million to be spent on exploration activities, including drilling, within 12 months of commencement of the JV; and
- HIPO funding advanced on a loan account basis with Crown finance carried through to definitive feasibility study stage.
As part of the proposed drilling program for the March quarter of 2019, a site visit will be undertaken immediately by the company’s technical consultants to complete (amongst other things):
- Evaluation of surface geology over as much of the mining permit as possible and adjacent exploration permits;
- Map the known pegmatites at a scale of 1:2000 or 1:5000 as appropriate; and
- Undertake outcrop sampling and pitting as appropriate.
Some results from this site visit are will be reported from late December onwards.
HIPO’s Executive Chairman Maurice Feilich said: “This transaction is a very significant development for HIPO and we are pleased to have agreed terms with Crown, a respected and established mining and development company in the DRC, to jointly develop what could be a large, world-class lithium project.
"Exploration results from surrounding projects, which have similar geological characteristics to Kamola, give us every confidence in this asset.
“Follow-up work at Kamola, including detailed mapping, surface geology analysis, sampling and pitting, will commence this month and we expect it will give us a greater understanding of the project’s potential and identify immediate drill targets for early 2019.
“From here we anticipate much more regular news flow on exploration at Kamola.
"As well, our 25%-owned battery technology business Next-Battery is making excellent progress and we look forward to updating shareholders shortly on some solid progress.”