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Mineral Resources (MinRes) has snapped up a 19.8 per cent stake in up-and-coming lithium player Wildcat Resources amid a lithium land-grab frenzy spearheaded by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, the Australian Financial Review reported.

MinRes disclosed its shareholding in Wildcat on Tuesday, following a report by the AFR last week that the company was targeting Wildcat’s Tabba Tabba mine in Western Australia.

Amid enthusiasm over exploration results and interest piqued by MinRes’ intentions with the company, Wildcat’s market capitalisation has soared from $19 million to $900 million since May.

Tabba Tabba is located approximately 90km from the Wodinga lithium mine joint venture between MinRes and Albemarle, and just over 200km from Azure Minerals’ Andover project.

But MinRes is not the only player making major moves in the lithium space – Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting acquired an 18 per cent strategic stake in Azure Minerals’ ordinary shares earlier this week.

The move was announced only days after SQM announced its intention to buy Azure Minerals for $3.52 per share, valuing Azure at $1.63 billion.

The bid was the second such move by Hancock, after it recently swooped in on Albemarle’s takeover of Liontown Resources, allegedly scaring off the giant.

Despite the battery mineral price slump, the lithium land buy-up appears to only just getting started, only time will tell where the next big spend will come from.