Marifil Mines (CVE:MFM) said Tuesday it has signed a definitive option agreement to purchase the K-5 and K-6 potash assets in Neuquen province, in Argentina.
The property comprises 19 mining claims totalling 52,172 hectares,
with these claims covering both the K-5 and K-6 potash projects.
Under the terms of the agreement, the seller will receive cash
payments of $4.15 million over four years, of which $25,000 was paid on
signing the letter of intent in January, and $125,000 was paid for
signing the definitive purchase option deal.
The seller retains a two percent net smelter royalty, but Marifil can
purchase 1.5 percent of this royalty for $1.5 million, with a second
option to purchase the remaining 0.5 percent royalty for $1.5 million.
There are no work obligations attached to the agreement, the company
The payment schedule differs from the prior announcement in January,
as the new agreement also includes the K-6 claims, which the company
believes are "extremely valuable", it said.
The K-5 claims lie just west of Vale’s
claims, which host the 2 billion plus tonne Potasio Rio Colorado potash
deposit and are bordered on the north by claims owned by giant German
fertilizer company K+S Group, which host the large El Porton potash
The K-5 prospect is possibly an extension of the El Porton deposit,
Marifil said. At the prospect, Marifil geologists have identified
"significant sylvite (KCl) intervals" in drill logs from 52 holes
drilled for oil.
Potash mineralization has been identified in up to seven separate
horizons, the company said, most of which range in depth from about
1,000 to 1,100 metres. Significant potash has also been identified as
deep as 1,500 metres.
Some of the significant intervals include 2.5 metres in thickness at a
grade of 45% KCI, and 4.0 metres of thickness at a grade of 45% KCI.
Mineralization occurs over a width of 5 kilometres and a strike length of about 20 kilometres.
The K-6 target, meanwhile, covers a large domal structure located
between the K-2 and K-5 projects. There is only a single oil well hole
on the property, but this hole intercepted 2.8 metres grading 25% to 30%
KCl at a depth of 627 metres.
The domal structure measures about five kilometres wide, and 30
kilometres long, giving a total target size of about 150 square
"Marifil potash claims total 350,000 hectares, making us the second
largest owner of potash rights in Argentina," said president John Hite.
"Our plan now is to spin these properties into a Capital Pool Company (CPC) or a shell company that is currently trading.
"We would then plan to raise $3 million to $10 million to be used to
drill one or more of the properties, produce a NI 43-101 resource, and
then raise perhaps $15 million to $20 million to complete a Feasibility
"We have retained Dr. Robert Rennie, a renowned fertilizer company executive to lead this new company.”
Indeed, Marifil said early this month that it hired Rennie to aide
with the spin-out of its Argentine potash, sulfur and phosphate
projects, under a consulting services agreement.
Rennie, who holds a PhD in soil microbiology from the University of
Minnesota, is slated to become the president and chief executive of the
Newco, or the new separate entity.
Rennie has a strong 27-year background in working with and managing
fertilizer companies. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Spur Ventures (CVE:SVU), which has been developing two phosphate deposits in China.
Prior to this, Rennie spent 20 years working for Agrium (TSE:AGU)
- one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies. While at Agrium, he
was chairman of the board of both Profertil S.A., a joint venture
between Agrium and Repsol.
"One concern raised by potential investors is the recent turmoil
regarding the Argentina Government takeover of Repsol’s shares of the
YPF oil company," said Hite.
"We do not believe this will affect mining in Argentina. The
Government has had a long contentious relationship with Repsol ending
with Repsol’s attempt to sell its YPF shares to China’s national oil
"While this action does not instill confidence by foreign investors,
one must be cognizant that oil and energy are viewed as special cases by
most governments around the world.
"Further, one of our exploration programs is aimed to develop new
phosphate resources. Argentina soils are deficient in phosphate and
Argentina currently imports 100% of this important soil nutrient. We
would hope that the Government would support this important program,"
Marifil is engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral
resources. Its properties include the Las Aguilas, Amarillo and Davicino
acreages, totalling more than 400,000-hectares within nine provinces in