Australia-based Bass Metals has signed a binding term sheet to acquire Blackearth SA which holds an option to acquire the san Jorge Lithium Project located in Catamarca province, Argentina.
UBS is now forecasting an 11-fold increase to 2030 in the amount of lithium required, as well as a 7-fold increase in the amount of natural graphite. Bass has exposure to both. Along with Bass’ graphite assets in Madagascar, Bass considers the San Jorge project as a logical addition to its asset base and to its strategy to be an integrated supplier of both anode and cathode materials.
Bass has long held a view that both the lithium and graphite markets will be in deficit post 2025 and this deficit will drive up prices in both commodities. The San Jorge Project is strongly complementary to the company’s existing graphite and lithium assets and positions Bass to become a wholly integrated producer of graphite and lithium delivering into the rapidly expanding global battery supply chain.—Rick Anthon, Chairman Bass Metals
The San Jorge project consists of 15 granted Exploration Licenses (ELs) covering some 36,000 hectares inclusive of the San Francisco Salar, which covers some 2,800 hectares.
The San Jorge project has a number of compelling characteristics, including:
Well-developed evaporite surface in the far northwest and northwest of the salar.
In other parts of the salar, salt crust is present between areas of the volcanic ash/sand/silt/clay cover on the surface of the salt lake. Halite is present in the west and central part of the lake.
Bass anticipates lithium brine will be most concentrated in the center of the salar or in the south.
Bass is acquiring Blackearth for equity consideration only, with contingent consideration subject to the achievement of milestones. Bass views the San Jorge project as highly prospective, and plans an aggressive program commencing in 2021. The proposed program over the initial six months of exploration will consist of:
A passive seismic geophysical survey across the salar to define the thickness of the salar sediments and to target drilling and assist future resource estimation;
Electrical geophysics to map the extent of the brine body extending under gravel units around the salar;
Shallow augur drilling and pit sampling to collect brine samples for assaying, to determine the shallow concentration og lithium and other elements; and
Possible targeted deeper drilling to obtain brine samples for evaluation of brine chemistry and to confirm the porosity and permeability characteristics to evaluate possible future production conditions.