Xantus Inc & Nashwan Holdings Ltd

INTRODUCTION

Blenheim holds a 40% interest in Xantus Inc and a 30% interest in Nashwan Holdings Ltd, both holding exploration licences in southern Mali, which has high potential for lithium pegmatite deposits.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Blenheim has a 40% interest in Xantus Inc and a 30% interest in Nashwan Holdings Ltd, which hold exploration licences in Southern Mali and Niger and have high potential for lithium pegmatite deposits
  • Nashwan Holdings Ltd offers the opportunity of prospective lithium project areas Meniambala and Djidje in the Bougouni region in Mali
  • Xantus Inc has assembled a portfolio of highly prospective permits covering in excess of 1,500 sq km
  • Xantus permits include Dieba, Nimissila, Dieba North and Soumaya in Mali and a further 4 permits in Bongou, Diblio, Dingoba and Namaga 2 in Niger
  • Xantus represents one of a group of key players in the region, including Birimian Ltd, which is developing the Bougouni lithium project and Kodal Mineral plc -  the region is rapidly developing into a premium lithium belt
  • Xantus and Nashwan are key players in the region, alongside Birimian Ltd, which is developing the Bougouni lithium project and Kodal Mineral plc - the region is rapidly developing into a premium lithium belt

The Investment Opportunity

Blenheim has exposure to large scale lithium permits in Mali and Niger, an area that is rapidly emerging as a major new lithium belt.  This is part of the Company’s desire to focus on ‘next generation’ resources, including lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are in high demand due, in particular, to the predicted future global growth in the Electric Vehicle market.

The Mali Exploration Permits

The permits in Mali consist of Dieba North, Dieba, Soumayer and Nimissila, and border those held by listed companies, Birimian (ASX:BGS) and Kodal (AIM:KOD) both of which have significant known lithium discoveries, plus recorded lithium grades of >2% Li2O from pegmatite samples.  In particular, the Dieba licence is contiguous to the north of Birimian’s Bougouni lithium project (Goulamina) which has a current JORC Mineral Resource of 15.5Mt at 1.48% Li2O for 229,000 tonnes of contained Li2O.

The Dieba North and Soumaya exploration permits areas are 85km2 and 100km2 respectively and were granted in 2017 on a standard three-year exploration term with the right to extend twice for a further two years.  Dieba North directly adjoins to the north of the Dieba permit.  Soumaya is located to the north of Dieba North. 

Pegmatites (lithium bearing rocks) have been encountered at surface across the licences which are on strike from known discoveries in the southern Mali, a region that is rapidly emerging as an exciting lithium province.  15 pegmatites targets have already been selected for follow-up.

The Exploration Programme

A three-stage exploration programme is being undertaken at Dieba, Nimissila, Meniambala and Djidje exploration permits.

Stage 1: comprised Geophysical and GIS surveys across the licence areas to identify ‘weights of evidence’ targets.  15 priority targets were identified and have been followed up with field geological mapping and sampling.    

Stage 2: comprising a field work programme is nearing completion.  Geological information, data capture and map work has been completed.  Outcropping has been identified and pegmatite grab samples have been taken.  Field work will produce a report containing GIS exploration mapping of outcrops and structural occurrence of significance, a validated database of sample locations and assay results, plus interpretation of the data to identify targets for drilling.

Stage 3: will comprise auger drilling on an 800m x 100m grid over the identified target areas which is expected to commence following completion of Stage 2.

Regional Context

To put the licences into context, Birimian's Bougouni lithium project contains a reported JORC Mineral Resource of 32.9Mt at 1.37% Li2O for 451,000 tonnes of contained Li2O at 0.4% cut-off.  Kodal has yet to announce a resource, but has reported wide, high-grade lithium pegmatite drill intersections from its Kassokoro permit.  Kodal also recently announced initial flotation test results on drill chips from its Kassokoro permit showing that high-grade lithium (spodumene) concentrate, of suitable quality for producing lithium carbonate with low levels of impurities, had been produced from initial beneficiation test results, with recoveries of 80% to 87%.

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The Niger Licences

The 4 contiguous permits in Niger, Diblio, Bongou, Namaga 2 and Dingoaba are located in adjoining blocks and situated 170km from the capital city, Niamey, south western Niger in the Department of Tera in the Tillabery region.  They have historical lithium resources and swarms of spodumene bearing pegmatite veins (lithium bearing mineral) have been encountered across the permit areas.  The fact that these are clearly mapped within the granites covering over 70% of the permit areas, provides the Company a positive indication for commercial lithium deposits.

Additionally, in the 1960’s work was carried out which showed a potential lithium deposit of 350,000 tonnes of up to 2% LiO2.

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