Critical minerals explorer shakes on an offtake agreement with Chinese financier

A Chinese financier has signed an off-take agreement with a Vancouver junior exploration company looking for critical minerals near the Quebec border.

Vancouver's Power Metals Corp. announced March 17 that it's entered into a formal off-take agreement with Sinomine Resource Group Co. on all lithium, cesium and tantalum produced from the Case Lake Property in northeastern Ontario.

A fund of $1.5 million, held in escrow pending the completion of the off-take agreement, has been released to Power Metals.

An off-take agreement is an arrangement between a mining company and a buyer. They're generally negotiated after a mine feasibility study is done and before mine construction. The arrangement only works if the exploration project becomes a mine.

Power Metal's Case Lake property still remains very much in the exploration stage.

The 9,500-hectare property is located in Steele and Case townships, 80 kilometres east of Cochrane and 100 kilometres north of Kirkland Lake. Power Metals has drilling there since 2017. 

The company has not yet released a resource estimate for the property.

Lithium, cesium and tantalum are on Canada's list of critical minerals considered vital in aerospace, defence, telecommunications, computing, and a number of clean technologies such as solar panels and electric car batteries.

Power Metals the latter company has been steadily advancing cash into the junior mining company's exploration efforts. 

Back in January, Power Metals said it was applying for a provincial drilling permit on its property. 

The two companies will jointly fund the drill program, which is intended to expand and search for new lithium, cesium and tantalum mineralization over a two-kilometre length of a "pegmatite swarm" on the property, especially between the West Joe Dyke and the Main Dyke.

Sinomine invests and trades in a variety of mineral commodities around the world. The company holds interests in the Shivuma copper project in Zambia, and the Tanco cesium and tantalum mine in Manitoba.

Two months ago in a release, Johnathan More, chairman of Power Metals said they had previously drilled more than 13,000 metres at Case Lake and were eager to follow up on a cesium discovery, "that is on surface and open in all directions," with an upcoming 20,000-metre drill program.