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Marifil Mines Ltd. (TSX.V: MFM) (OTCQB: MFMLF) Set to Enter Supply Chain as IMF and EV Motor Industry Worry About Access to “Clean” Cobalt

  • Over half the world’s cobalt is currently mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where political instability and ethically-challenging labor conditions cause major concern for investors and international consumers
  • Marifil holds mining claims to 15,250 hectares (37,700 acres) of land in South America’s famed ‘Lithium Triangle’, with other properties in central and southwest Argentina focusing mainly on cobalt, lithium and gold
  • Lithium-ion battery market set to reach $68 billion, while EV industry is expected to be worth almost $128 billion by 2022

As Marifil Mines Ltd. (TSX.V: MFM) (OTCQB: MFMLF) moves into position to take its role in the global supply chain, a key mining industry publication has reported that electric vehicle manufacturers remain anxious to secure supplies of cobalt and lithium (http://nnw.fm/19snB). Mining Technology says that China is maneuvering to secure a tighter grip on cobalt supplies, which, along with lithium, are crucial to the production of electric vehicle power supplies.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently voiced concern about cobalt in particular, since well over half of the world’s cobalt is currently mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition to the country’s political instability, its cobalt mining industry presents serious ethical issues, with Amnesty International uncovering widespread use of child labor and hazardous working conditions (http://nnw.fm/AvS28). This has led many investors in the auto industry and elsewhere to seek “clean” sources of cobalt closer to home.

Companies such as Vancouver-based Marifil Mines are set to profit as the global demand for lithium and cobalt continues to grow alongside the booming electric vehicle industry. According to BCC Research, global electric vehicle sales are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent between 2017 and 2022, when the industry could be worth almost $128 billion (http://nnw.fm/VA57o). Statistics compiled by Statista also indicate that the lithium-ion battery market could reach $68 billion in value by 2022 (http://nnw.fm/jCw3m).

Marifil Mines is engaged in acquiring resource-rich properties in Argentina, which it explores for lithium, cobalt and gold. It currently holds mining claims to 15,250 hectares (37,700 acres) of land in the Argentine Puna within the famed ‘Lithium Triangle’, where it plans to revive its lithium exploration program that was halted in 2009. Earlier this year, the company signed a five-year exploration agreement with Argentina-based Minera Esperanza S.A., targeting two lithium-bearing properties in the Catamarca province. Under the agreement, Marifil has the option to purchase these properties, which would significantly expand its lithium portfolio in the country.

The company also owns the Las Aguilas property in central Argentina, which is currently the country’s largest known nickel/cobalt property and is located in a region with good infrastructure. Exploration has revealed two significant deposits, located 300 meters apart. Marifil is exploring the possibility of expanding the property’s resources by drilling. A previous drill hole 3.5 kilometers north of Las Aguilas on Marifil’s Virorco patented mining claim encountered a 90-meter intersection of disseminated sulfides containing attention-grabbing nickel and cobalt grades. Step-out drilling off of this hole this could be the making of a new deposit, perhaps even larger than Las Aguilas, according to the company.

In addition to lithium and cobalt, Marifil Mines also has a focus on gold. The World Gold Council states that, although mining accounts for 75 percent of the world’s annual gold production, there is never enough to meet demand (http://nnw.fm/wN4Zy). Because of the long mining lifecycle and lead time to find new deposits, the gold mining industry is not immediately responsive to price fluctuations. These impact more heavily the 25 percent of gold which is recovered from recycling.

At its San Roque property in southwest Argentina, Marifil has reached an advanced stage of gold exploration. Gold and zinc mineralization have been discovered spread over some four square kilometers by 112 drill holes totaling 16,684 meters of drill length. Other information on the property comprises 1,800 meters of mechanized trenching, approximately 2,000 surface rock and soil samples and geophysical surveys for 42 km of ground magnetics and 90 km of induced potential-resistivity.

Examples of just a couple important drill hole results include: Hole DDHMSR-033, with 81 meters of 0.85 g/t Au, 9.2 g/t Ag, 2.67 g/t In, 0.3 percent lead and 0.6 percent zinc, and Hole DDHMSR-0034, which intercepted 34 meters of 2.27 g/t Au and 42.6 g/t Ag starting at one meter below the surface.

With a 51 percent stake, Marifil is a joint owner of the property, along with NovaGold Argentina Inc. NovaGold Argentina, which owns the remaining 49 percent, is a subsidiary of NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX: NG). Marifil is the project operator.

Marifil has expressed optimism about the expected results of its recent San Roque drilling program. It is awaiting assay results from several hundred core samples that have been sent to labs in Mendoza, Argentina.

San Roque is located in Argentina’s Rio Negro province, which is supportive of mining. The area has no indigenous population who might be adversely affected by mining activities. In addition, there are no known endangered or protected plants or animals, and there are no private royalty claims attached to the San Roque property. The location is well-served with highway and rail infrastructure, and is 65 kilometers away from the Atlantic Ocean port of San Antonio. There is good access to hydro-electric electricity and a ready supply of labor and water.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.MarifilMines.com

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