Montero Mining and Exploration has signed an agreement with Chinese company Jiang Xi Yun Lithium Materials for the joint development of lithium production in Africa.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Canadian company Montero and Jiang Xi Yun Lithium includes a long-term off-take agreement and a commitment on the part of Jiang Xi Yun that they will provide Montero with beneficiation and financing support.
Montero will supply Jiang Xi Yun Lithium with long-term supply, Montero will have the opportunity of investing in Jiang Xi Yun Lithium’s upstream beneficiation plant, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide facilities in China.
According to Tony Harwood, Montero Mining and Exploration’s president and CEO, Jiang Xi Yun Lithium is focused on the supply of battery grade lithium products to the electric vehicle market in China.
Jiang Xi Yun Lithium has already made a significant investment in the development of lithium refining facilities in China and is continuing to expand these with a view to becoming a major supplier of lithium. “The company wishes to supplement its current supply with lithium from Africa which is the focus of our MoU. Jiang Xi is an ideal fit for Montero’s intention of being a lithium producer,” says Harwood.
Montero currently has three lithium exploration and development projects in Namibia. The current exploration programs are targeting NI 43-101 compliant resources and the exploration of additional lithium targets in Namibia.
Jiang Xi Yun Lithium processes and manufactures lithium carbonate and lithium iron phosphate products for the Chinese battery market. It also offers non-ferrous metal materials, cobalt, nickel, copper and aluminum recycling, processing and marketing services. The company currently has an annual production 20 000t of lithium carbonate and is targeting 40 000t per year by 2020. A Chinese battery manufacturing company, Tinci Materials Technology, holds 23% of the company.
Montero currently has options to acquire the Soris lithium-tantalum-tin project, the Uis lithium-tin tailings project and EPL6162 in Namibia to prove significant lithium resources. Lithium is a critical battery metal. Montero’s focus is to advance its Namibian assets while seeking partners to advance the balance of its assets.
Montero’s other assets include the Wigu Hill rare earth project in Tanzania and phosphate projects in South Africa.