A Vancouver lithium outfit has signed an exploration agreement with three northwestern Ontario First Nation communities - Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek, Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek. and Red Rock Indian Band - in the Lake Nipigon area.
A March 21 news release from Imagine Lithium said the document sets up a framework with the communities for ongoing consultation and accommodation around the company's exploration work at its Jackpot Lithium Project, 140 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.
Each community named in the agreement receives one million common share purchase warrants, entitling the holder to purchase one common share in the capital of the company at a price of $0.11 per warrant share for a period of five years.
Company president-CEO J. C. St-Amour stated this agreement formalizes their respect for the environment and local First Nation traditional knowledge. Down the road, there could be local employment opportunities, education and training for Indigenous students studying in a mining-related field.
"Our exploration program at Imagine Lithium is underway and we seek to create value for all our important stakeholders as we move the Jackpot Lithium Project forward."
The Jackpot Project is located to the east of Lake Nipigon and Highway 11. The company is working on validating a two-million ton resource of lithium oxide that was discovered and calculated by another company in the 1950s. The property is situated south of Rock Tech Lithium's Georgia Lake deposit.
Lithium is predominately used in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, cell phones and various other electronic devices.
A 3,000-metre drill program is underway targeting an area called the Main Dike Swarm and along strike to the east and to the west, the company said in a release. Samples have been sent to the assay lab for analysis.
The company has said there are multiple pegmatite targets on the property to explore. Pegmatite is a typical host rock for finding lithium.
Imagine Lithium changed its name from Infinite Ore in January to better reflect its activities.
“Never has there been a better time to be involved in lithium exploration in Ontario," said St-Amour, mentioning the last weeks rollout of the Ontario government's critical minerals strategy and its intent to create a domestic supply chain to feed the electric vehicle manufacturing sector.
"Our goal this year is to aggressively drill, define and expand the known lithium mineralized areas while making new lithium discoveries on this vast property in Ontario. Our current program is well funded and we are currently drilling on the property," he added.
The company also announced it's issued 8,000 common shares to a third party to purchase an unspecified amount of additional ground in the area.