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LONDON (Alliance News) – Rare Earth Mineral PLC Wednesday said it has further increased its shareholding in its joint venture partner in the Sonora lithium project in Mexico, Bacanora Minerals Ltd.

Following the transaction, when aggregated with Rare Earth's 30% direct interest in the Fleur-El Sauz joint venture and the 30% direct interest in the Megalit joint venture, results in a total economic interest in each of these joint ventures of approximately 38.4%, it said in a statement.Rare Earth Minerals has increased its stake in the company to 12.0% from its previous holding of 11.29% through further market purchases totalling GBP313,500, making the company the second largest shareholder in Bacanora. Igneous Capital Ltd holds a 17.86% stake in Bacanora.

Both of the Fleur El Sauz and Megalit joint ventures are with Bacanora, which are both part of the Sonora Lithium project.

In the same statement, Rare Earth said it has appointed SRK Exploration Services Ltd to assess the strategic options in the development of both the joint ventures in the Sonora project. SRK are currently reviewing the geological model for mineralisation that can be accessed by an open pit model for the Fleur El Sauz venture.

"The review being carried out by SRK will help optimise open pit design to deliver the best value to the project and support a potential lithium operation at the Sonora Lithium project capable of producing up to 50,000 tonnes a year of lithium compounds," said Rare Earth Chairman David Lenigas.

Bacanora shares were up 4.6% to 0.920 pence per share on Wednesday morning. Rare Earth shares were down 0.6% to 1.14 pence per share.

By Joshua Warner; [email protected]; @JoshAlliance

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