Azimut Exploration Inc. (TSX-V: AZM) (OTCQX: AZMTF) is pleased to announce the signing on July 7, 2023 of two Option to Joint Venture Agreements with Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. for its wholly-owned Corvet and Kaanaayaa lithium properties. The Agreements contemplate an aggregate value of up to C$115.7 million in expenditures and cash payments.
The Properties are located in Quebec’s Eeyou Istchee James Bay region (see Figures 1 to 3).
Rio Tinto Exploration Canada is a Canadian subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group (LSE: RIO) (ASX: RIO), a leading global mining group focused on finding, mining and processing the Earth’s mineral resources.
The Properties display significant lithium exploration potential supported by regional geoscientific data and their strategic locations relative to a major emerging lithium district.
While the exploration programs under the Agreements will focus on identifying lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatites, both Properties also have strong potential for intrusion-related gold-copper and magmatic nickel-copper-cobalt mineralization.
Key terms of the Agreements
Each property is subject to its own Agreement, whereby Rio Tinto can acquire an initial 50% interest in the property by fulfiling the following conditions over four years:
Upon earning a 50% interest, Rio Tinto can earn an additional 20% by funding work expenditures of $50 million over five (5) years per property. Rio Tinto will act as the operator during this second option phase.
Upon Rio Tinto earning a 70% interest, Azimut will have the option to be funded to production by way of secured loan from Rio Tinto in exchange for an additional 5% interest in the property. At this stage, the respective interests in the property will be Azimut 25%, Rio Tinto 75%. If exercised, the loan shall accrue interest at the SOFR + 4.5% per annum, to be paid back from 50% of the cash flow from production.
The parties are dealing at arm’s length. The Agreements remain subject to regulatory approvals by the TSX Venture Exchange.
This press release was prepared by Dr. Jean-Marc Lulin, P.Geo., acting as Azimut’s qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.
Azimut is a leading mineral exploration company with a solid reputation for target generation and partnership development. The Company holds the largest mineral exploration portfolio in Quebec. Its wholly-owned flagship Elmer Gold Project is progressing to the initial resource stage in the James Bay region. Azimut also controls a strategic land position for copper-gold, nickel and lithium.
The Company is advancing its major lithium portfolio in the James Bay region in three ways concurrently:
Azimut uses a pioneering approach to big data analytics (the proprietary AZtechMine™ expert system) enhanced by extensive exploration know-how. The Company’s competitive edge is based on systematic regional-scale data analysis and concurrently active projects. The Company maintains rigorous financial discipline and a strong balance sheet, with 79.9 million shares issued and outstanding.
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