The Company has also signed an agreement with a private individual to purchase a 100% interest in the Mina Rosa II and Mina Rosadita II lithium claims covering an alluvial fan bordering the Llullaillaco salar (dry lake bed) in Salta Province, Argentina.
The Llullaillaco salar is one of numerous salars marking the Puna Plateau which covers large portions of northwestern Argentina, northwestern Chile, and southern Bolivia. This plateau hosts the largest concentrations of lithium brines in the world.
Under the terms of the agreement Marifil agrees to pay $640,000 over six years to acquire a 100% interest in these claims. The seller retains a 1.5% royalty which the Company can purchase for $800,000.
Assays from a water well located three kilometres southeast of the claims and in the same alluvial fan contain, respectively, 103, 106, and 108 mg/l (milligrams per liter) (1mg/l equals 1 ppm equals 1g/t) lithium and published samples from other parts of the salar contain 180 to 280 mg/l lithium as well as important amounts of potash and boron. For reference, a lithium brine mine in the United States is producing from brines grading about 150 mg/l lithium.
Lithium is rapidly becoming a strategic metal and demand is expected to increase at an annual rate of 7%. The largest rate of growth will come from lithium used in batteries to power hybrid automobiles, electric cars and electric vehicles.
Company geologists have begun an exploration program to test this property and other salars on the Puna plateau. The Company has mobilized an exploration team to the project area and expects to produce an NI 43-101 report on these properties as soon as possible.