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ASX-listed Latin Resources on Wednesday announced plans to raise A$37.1-million to accelerate exploration work at its Salinas lithium project, and to fund definitive feasibility studies and fast-track environmental studies.

Latin has received firm commitments for the placement of 353.3-million new shares, at an issue price of 10.5c each, representing a 4.5% discount to the company’s last closing price and a 1.8% discount to its five-day volume weighted average share price.

The placement will be undertaken in two tranches, with the first tranche consisting of more than 326.6-million shares, raising an initial A$34.3-million under Latin’s existing placement capacity.

The second tranche of 26.6-million shares, raising a further A$2.8-million, will be subject to shareholder approval at the company’s general meeting scheduled for mid-June.

“We are delighted to announce the completion of the placement which has enabled us to introduce a number of high quality, North American, Brazilian and domestic institutions to the company’s register,” said MD Chris Gale.

“The placement provides significant validation of Latin’s portfolio of assets and the company’s ongoing resource expansion drill program, feasibility studies and development approvals for Salinas.”

The funds will go towards an aggressive resource definition programme to increase the size of the mineral resource at the Colina deposit, and to fund further exploration work on the recently acquired tenure of 29 940 ha north of the Colina deposit.

In addition to funding the a definitive feasibility study and fast tracking environmental studies, Latin is hoping to secure development license approvals for the Salinas project.