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VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- USA News Group - Another major acquisition is taking place in the Lithium Triangle region of South America that spans Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Through a cash deal worth $770 million, Chinese mining giant Zijin Mining Group Company Limited (OTCPK:ZIJMF) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian Neo Lithium Corp. (OTCQX:NTTHF) (TSXV:NLC) and all of its assets in Argentina's largest lithium producing area. The move has instantly highlighted the importance and attractiveness of other Lithium Triangle players, from developers to producers, including Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV:LIS) (OTCQB:LISMF), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) (TSX:LAC), and Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM).
Already ranked number 4 among the world's top lithium producing nations, Argentina is making a push to speed up its development. In particular, the Salta province, which is building up its regional mining logistics nodes and access roads, while also lower tax rates and cleaning up confusing rules for the sector in order to attract more investment like that of Zijin Mining Group Company Limited (OTC:ZIJMF).
Among the projects in Salta that is progressing is the Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project (HMN Li Project), being developed by Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV:LIS) (OTC:LISMF). Earlier in October, Lithium South gave an update on the project based on results of a Time Domain Electromagnetic (TEM) program that confirmed the project's potential to expand the resource.
"We are very pleased with the results of the T.E.M. survey. in particular, for the Alba Sabrina claim block, the largest in the package, which we thought had limited potential," said Lithium South President, Adrian F.C. Hobkirk. "We look forward to the next phase of resource development at this high-quality lithium brine project."
Comprised of six non-contiguous claim blocks, the 3,287 hectare HMN Li Project already has a completed Preliminary Economic Assessment on it, that was based upon a 5,000 tonne per year operation. However, pending drill confirmation and resource expansion, Lithium South believes the project size will potentially expand significantly.
Located nearby, the northern claim groups border ground owned by Korean-based POSCO, where a lithium mine is being constructed. The southern claim group adjoins ground owned by Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM), which is currently producing lithium from the area.
On its second quarter earnings release, Livent highlighted its resumption of capacity expansion under development in Argentina.
"We were pleased to complete the equity issuance and are focused on executing on our capacity expansion projects, which are progressing on-schedule," said Paul Graves, President and CEO of Livent. "Increasing production capacity and building upon our low cost and sustainable operations will strengthen our commercial footprint and enhance our position as a partner of choice to leading auto OEMs and battery producers."
Zijin Mining Group Company Limited (OTC:ZIJMF) made a splash for nearly CAD$1 billion (US$737 million) for Canadian company Neo Lithium Corp. (OTC:NTTHF) (TSXV:NLC), and its Argentina assets.
"Neo Lithium's 3Q lithium brine project in Catamarca, Argentina is one of the largest and highest-grade projects of its kind in the world," said Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin."The 3Q project represents an important addition to Zijin's growing global asset mix and it is a good choice for Zijin to enter the field of new energy minerals."
Typically, Zijin is primarily known as a Chinese gold and copper miner, however this leap into lithium is now in a preliminary strategic planning stage with no detailed time frame or specific projects yet.
"After a thorough strategic process, we are very pleased to provide this all-cash premium offer to our shareholders from a leading global mining company," said Waldo A. Perez, President and CEO of Neo Lithium. "This is the result of the collective work of our premier lithium brine exploration team, starting from initial discovery in late 2015 to defining one of the largest and highest-grade lithium brine deposits in the world, and culminating in this premium offer in just six years."
Earlier in the summer, another Chinese acquisition took place, where a majority stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz Project in the neighboring Jujuy province was purchased by Gangfeng Lithium, while 49% remained held by Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) (TSX:LAC).
As per Lithium Americas' most recent Q2 2021 results, the company reaffirmed that construction at Caucharí-Olaroz remain on track to achieve first production by mid-2022 on the initial 40,000 tonnes per annum operation.
For more information, please visit: https://lithium-news.com/2021/03/03/doubling-of-global-lithium-demand-expected-to-power-ev-battery-revolution/
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