- Bacanora Minerals - which is developing the Sonora lithium project in northern Mexico - says it is continuing to develop a number of strategic relationships with international lithium trading companies and mining companies for the sale of its lithium products, in addition to the conditional supply agreement previously announced. It says the recent £8.8 million private placement significantly boosted the company's cash reserves and ensures that more than sufficient funding is available to upgrade its pilot plant in order to allow for continuous metallurgical operations, which are scheduled to commence in January.

The treatment of bulk lithium samples from the Sonora mine at the Hermosillo pilot plant will produce off-take samples for potential end users in Europe, Asia and North America. As part of this strategy, the company has already completed a number of detailed site and plant visits with potential off-take partners to facilitate and expedite lithium sample optimisation and is in the process of negotiating a number of letters of intent, memoranda of understanding, draft agreements and non-disclosure agreements with these potential partners.

Chief executive Peter Secker said: "The various discussions and ongoing negotiations referenced in this announcement indicate that the Sonora lithium project is now receiving a significant amount of interest from major trading houses in Asia and Europe for supply of lithium products. Discussions and negotiations with lithium off-takers and major mining companies with a lithium focus are expected to continue over the next six months, subsequent to the planned release of the NI-43-101 Pre-Feasibility Study in calendar Q1, 2016."

At 2:10pm: [LON:BCN] Bacanora Minerals Ltd Ord Npv di share price was -0.5p at 79p

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