Hilo Mining Ltd. has announced that it has entered into a definitive earn-in agreement with Capella Minerals Limited to earn up to an 80% interest in a portfolio of lithium and rare-earth element (“REE”) pegmatite reservations held by Capella in central Finland (the “Property“).
The portfolio consists of five lithium and rare-earth element pegmatite reservations in central Finland. These reservations cover a total area of 2,300 square kilometers and are focused on LCT pegmatite complexes located within the Järvi-Pohjanmaa and Seinäjoki lithium-permissive tracts as defined by the Geological Survey of Finland (“GTK”). Four of the reservations (Nabba, Lappajärvi W, Lappajärvi E, and Kaatiala) lie immediately adjacent to, and to the south of, Keliber Oy’s spodumene mine development project in the Kaustinen district.
“I’m pleased to announce the Earn-In Agreement and look forward to partnering with Capella on the exploration and development of this project,” said Jeremy Poirier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He continued, “I’m excited about the prospect to be part of the growth of lithium and REE production in Finland, which I believe itself has the potential to become one of Europe’s major sources of these critical commodities.”
Eric Roth, Capella’s President and CEO commented: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering together with Hilo on the advancement of this highly-prospective portfolio of lithium-REE projects in central Finland. Little systematic exploration has been undertaken in recent years within this belt, and our immediate goal will be to bring priority target areas with spodumene-bearing pegmatites to drill-ready status. We look forward to keeping all stakeholders updated on our progress.”
Hilo is focusing on Finland as a direct result of its favourable geology for spodumene-hosted pegmatite deposits, the mining friendly jurisdiction, and the ratification on March 16, 2023, of the European Commission Critical Raw Minerals Act (“ECRM”), which has been designed to support the development of a resilient European supply chain of both lithium and REE’s. The ECRM includes the setting of benchmarks by 2030 for domestic capacities in the fields of critical metal extraction, processing, and recycling. Hilo’s enhanced Li-REE portfolio provides the Company an opportunity to become one of the EU’s major sources of these commodities.
In parallel, the Norwegian government has also thrown support behind the construction of a lithium-ion battery gigafactory in the northern city of Mo I Rana. This plant, which is currently expected to enter in to operation in 2025, is part of a broader governmental strategy to take advantage of the abundance of low-cost renewable (hydroelectric) energy in-country and become a major contributor to future lithium battery production.