Auxico Signs Off-take Agreement With The Lasell Company For Tantalum Ore
MONTREAL, June 22, 2022 - Auxico Resources Canada Inc. (CSE: AUAG) ("Auxico" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the signing of an off-take agreement with the Lasell Company Ltd. ("Lasell") for a supply of up to 1,000 tonnes per month of tantalum ore ("Ta") with a targeted purity of 30% Ta2O5 content. Lasell will have a right of first refusal on production exceeding 1,000 tonnes per month. Initial trial shipments of 25 tonnes per month are expected to begin in Q4 2022, with plans to expand into commercial production over the course of 2023.
The tantalum ore for this off-take will be sourced and executed by the Company's joint venture partner, Kibara Minerals, of which Auxico holds a 70% stake under a profit-share agreement. Kibara Minerals has access to high-grade tantalite mineral deposits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC") and an exclusive supply agreement with a cooperative for the purchase of tantalite ore from the Bafwasende Tantalum deposit, located 200 km from the city of Kisangani in the north-central part of the DRC. A full exploration permit covering an area of approximately 45.87 km2 has been issued by the Ministry of Mines of the DRC.
Tantalite ore from the Bafwasende deposit, a traceable non-conflict artisanal site, has been tested by two independent groups. Impact Global Solutions, based in Delson, Quebec, performed laboratory tests on samples from the Bafwasende deposit, which produced the following grades: 46% Ta2O5 (tantalum pentoxide) and 22% Nb2O5 (niobium pentoxide). In 2020, one of the Company's potential buyers of this tantalite ore also performed its respective tests, which resulted in 42.04% Ta2O5 and 22.93% Nb2O5, which identified the Bafwasende Tantalum deposit as a high-grade columbite mineral source. Both tantalum and niobium are on the Government of Canada's published 2021 Critical Minerals List as well as the United States Geological Survey 2022 new list of 50 mineral commodities critical to the U.S. economy and national security after an extensive multi-agency assessment.
In 2020, initial geological surveys were carried out at the Bafwasende Tantalum deposit on foot, focusing on a known source of Ta2O5 in an area of 400-metres in length by 200-metres in width. A total of seven exploration pits were dug over the identified mineralization zone and columbite concentrates recovered from the site have shown an average grade of tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) in excess of 30%. An aerial study of the permit and the surrounding areas was conducted by JAPOSAT in March 2021 which reconfirmed the initial mineralization and has identified three additional areas of interest within the same basin.
The pricing will be based on the Asian Metal Index or a similar industry benchmark, with delivery on CIF terms. The initial term of the agreement will be 10 years, automatically renewing for a second term of 10 years subject to mutual agreement.
Recently, the market price of tantalum concentrates at 30% Ta2O5 was approximately US$107,000 per metric tonne (data sourced from ISE).
Lasell Company Ltd. is a globally diversified investor-operator founded in Thailand in 2007. Lasell specializes in the natural resources industry and has recently diversified into commercial real estate. In 2007, Lasell started to trade minerals by collecting and recycling a range of rare metals such as tungsten, nickel, cobalt, titanium, and some rare-earth elements. Since 2007, Lasell has grown from just trading minerals and now operates two processing plants in Thailand. With the upcoming off-take agreement for Ta2O5 from the DRC, Lasell intends to dedicate one plant entirely to tantalum processing, using their engineering expertise to produce high-grade tantalum concentrates.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc. ("Auxico" or the "Company") is a Canadian company that was founded in 2014 and based in Montreal. Auxico is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Additional information on Auxico can be found on the Company's website (www.auxicoresources.com) or on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under "Auxico Resources Canada Inc."
This news release was reviewed and approved by Joel Scodnick, P.Geo., an independent consultant to Auxico, in his capacity as a Qualified Person ("QP"), as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Although the results of the samples were tested by two independent laboratories and returned high grade values in tantalum and niobium, the QP cautions the reader to be aware that there is no chain of custody on the samples since they were not selected by the QP, nor has the QP visited the site.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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President, Auxico Resources Canada Inc.
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SOURCE Auxico Resources Canada Inc.
Pierre Gauthier, CEO, Auxico Resources Canada Inc., email@example.com, Cell: +1 514 299 0881; Mark Billings, President, Auxico Resources Canada Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell: +1 514 296 1641