Australia-based Marquee Resources (MQR) has teamed up with Mineral Resources (MinRes) for the development of the West Spargoville Project (WSP) in Western Australia.

The two companies have signed a binding term sheet to explore for and develop lithium deposits across WSP, which hosts E 15/1743 and E 15/1781 deposits.

Under the agreement, MinRes will obtain the right to acquire an initial 25% interest in lithium rights by funding all exploration and development activities.

The initial farm-in is subject to MinRes completing a feasibility study within 24 months, and due diligence on the project within four weeks.

The company is expected to fund at least $1,000,000 for the exploration and development activities by the end of this year, and spend $500,000 to exercise the Fyfehill Option.

It holds the right to acquire an additional 45% interest in the lithium rights by funding the project until reaching a final investment decision (FID) on the development of the project.

In such a case, MinRes is expected to provide overall mine to port services, including mining, building a processing plant, on-site power generation, haulage, and marketing of products.

Also, the company can acquire an additional 26% interest in the lithium rights by funding the development, construction and commissioning of a mine and related facilities at the project.

MinRes and Marquee would sign a mine gate sale agreement, under which MinRes will build, own and operate all plant, equipment and infrastructure for the mining operations.

Marquee executive chairman Charles Thomas said: “After much deliberation on which Partner to select to help us advance the West Spargoville Lithium Project, I am extremely happy to announce we are partnering with one of the most innovative and leading mining service companies and one of the world’s largest lithium producers.

“Mineral Resources has an excellent track record and reputation and I am very pleased that a company of their calibre sees the same potential at WSP as the team at MQR and I do.

“With the RC rig currently turning at the Project, we look forward to rapidly generating drilling results from the highly prospective WSP Project and sharing them with our shareholders.”

WSP is located in the core of the Southern Yilgarn Lithium Belt, which hosts spodumene deposits, including the Bald Hill mine, Mt Marion mine, Buldania project and Essential Metals Pioneer Dome project.

RC drilling targeting lithium at the project is currently in progress, with drilling results expected soon.

MinRes is engaged in the construction and operation of hard rock lithium mines in Western Australia and is expected to add technical, operational and financial capacity to the WSP.