IGO Limited has snapped up an interest in Venus Metals Corporation after acquiring nine million shares in the company and securing an exploration deal at its Bridgetown Greenbushes project in WA’s South West region. After spending $2.07 million at 23c per share, IGO will secure a 5.6 per cent stake in Venus, making it a substantial shareholder. The project takes in Venus’ Greenbushes East lithium project and its Bridgetown East copper-nickel-PGE project.
IGO Limited has snapped up an interest in Venus Metals Corporation after acquiring nine million shares and securing an exploration deal at its Bridgetown Greenbushes project in WA’s South West region.
After spending $2.07 million at 23c per share, IGO will secure a 5.6 per cent stake in Venus making it a substantial shareholder in the company.
The Bridgetown Greenbushes exploration project takes in Venus’ Greenbushes East lithium project and its Bridgetown East copper-nickel-platinum group element site.
In March, Venus identified a strong lithium anomaly in soil sampling at Bridgetown East, just 20km south-east of the world’s largest known hard-rock lithium mine at Greenbushes.
IGO holds a 49 per cent interest in a global joint venture with Tianqi Lithium Corporation. The joint venture has a 51 per cent interest in the Greenbushes mine, the remaining 49 per cent is owned by US chemicals giant Abermarle.
As part of stage 1 of the exploration agreement with Venus, IGO will earn a 51 per cent share in the Bridgetown Greenbushes project by spending $3m on exploration expenditure within 30 months of the commencement date.
The share can increase to 70 per cent if IGO spends another $3m in exploration expenditure within a further 18-month period to earn the additional 19 per cent interest as part of stage 2 of the agreement.
Once stage 1 of the agreement is complete, the two companies will establish an unincorporated joint venture to be managed by IGO.
IGO will fund all joint venture expenditure until the completion of the project’s prefeasibility study.
Venus Metals Corporation Managing Director, Matthew Hogan said: “IGO Limited's knowledge and technical expertise regarding LCT pegmatites and Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide exploration and development is invaluable for the highly prospective tenement package held by VMC at Bridgetown-Greenbushes next to the world's lowest cost and highest-grade hard-rock lithium mine.”
If IGO progresses with stage 2 exploration and completes a prefeasibility study at the project, it has the right to acquire the remaining 30 per cent interest from Venus based on a fair market value.
However, Venus can resume a 51 per cent share in the project if IGO does not earn the stage 2 interest whilst also failing to carry out on-ground exploration for more than six months and does not propose further exploration in the following six months.
The Greenbushes East and Bridgetown East projects comprise four tenements in addition to two exploration applications.
Venus has been kicking goals for a while now on the gold front with its joint venture operation at the Youanmi project near Sandstone.
However, this latest development with IGO shows the company is now also attracting significant attention at its battery metal projects.
Earlier this month Venus moved on to the second phase of its reverse-circulation drilling campaign targeting lithium at its Henderson project near Menzies in the eastern Goldfields region of WA.
The explorer recently hit returns of 5.8 and 3.6 per cent lithium dioxide at its Emerald SE prospect, whilst results from 89 rock samples showed 29 had more than 100 parts-per-million lithium dioxide.
In April the company mapped lithium anomalies at its Youanmi lithium project in WA’s Murchison region that coincide with known pegmatite outcrops it hopes are an extension to the recently announced Manindi lithium discovery to the south.
A recent report by the International Energy Agency suggests meeting future climate stabilisation goals will see a quadrupling or more in mineral requirements, with lithium predicted to experience the fastest growth in demand.
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