Australian mineral exploration company Latin Resources has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Integra Capital on the company’s Catamarca lithium pegmatite projects.

The signing of the JV agreement follows an extensive negotiation on Latin’s concessions, which includes over 70,000ha in Catamarca province, in Argentina.

As part of the deal, Integra, an Argentinian investment company, intends to invest up to $1m to support an exploration programme and earn 50% interest in the Catamarca lithium pegmatite projects.

Latin Resources said that the joint venture will develop the project after the release of a maiden JORC resource on the projects.

The project development will include feasibility, engineering and metallurgy studies to produce a lithium spodumene concentrate.

A scoping study on the concessions has been developed by Latin Resources along with consulting engineers Primero Group.

Integra has an option to take over a 10% stake in Latin

Latin Resources managing director Chris Gale said: “Integra’s financial capacity combined with our track record and experience in Latin America makes a formidable team with the ability to rapidly explore and develop a lithium project.

“Our projects have received widespread interest, but one major advantage Integra offers Latin is their proven in-country experience in Argentina with developing and operating on time and under budget.”

Latin Resources will be free-carried through Integra’s initial exploration activity, with financing for the construction of the processing plant to be in line with percentage ownership between the companies at the time of the final investment decision.

Upon completion of its due diligence, Integra has an option to take over a 10% stake in Latin and become the company’s largest corporate shareholder.