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Australia’s GB Energy to acquire lithium project in Namibia

In line with its strategy of targeting minerals critical for the future of the energy environment, ASX-listed GB Energy has entered into an option agreement with an unnamed South African company which, if exercised, provides the GB Energy with the right to acquire a 70% stake in Namibia’s Bitterwasser lithium clay project, near Windhoek. The option agreement provided the company with an exclusive 120-day option period in which to conduct due diligence on the project, including preliminary sampling, which would start immediately.

Under the agreement, GB Energy could, at any time during the option period, exercise its option to acquire Bitterwasser through a payment of N$1-million. Should the company choose to do so, it would complement the existing uranium- and lithium-focused assets held by GB Energy. Located about 160 km south-east of Windhoek, the Bitterwasser clay project comprises three granted exclusive prospecting licences (EPLs) with an area exceeding 593 km2 that covered a chain of salt pans prospective for lithium and potassium (potash).

Bitterwasser’s five large salt pans span around 58 km2, initially identified by a private equity firm interested in securing potential lithium assets in sub-Saharan Africa. Citing geological similarities to South America and Southern Africa, the firm undertook an extensive surface sampling exercise on a number of pans and identified Bitterwasser as the most prospective.

More recently, four boreholes were drilled to a depth of about 30 m in the main 14 km2 pan, one of five pans across the three EPLs that comprise the project, which was 24% of the total area of the five salt pans combined. Sediment samples returned highly anomalous concentrations of lithium, potassium and boron from surface to beyond a depth of 15 m, with potassium and lithium both comprising roughly 50% of the value proposition.

GB Energy advised on Thursday that the other four salt pans had not been drilled. The company added that, while the assay work to date was encouraging, there was some inconsistency with lithium and potassium grade reported between laboratories, attributed to possible issues with drilling and sampling techniques. GB Energy noted that, as part of its 120-day option period, it would conduct preliminary sampling to confirm the concentration of lithium and potassium found at Bitterwasser, with analysis to be undertaken in Australia.

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