Battery Minerals expands into NSW gold hunt, plans name change to reflect copper-gold focus

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By Robin Bromby - 
Battery Minerals ASX BAT NSW gold hunt Spur name change Waratah Minerals copper

What had been a graphite-gold play now becomes more focused as a copper-gold explorer with the acquisition by Battery Minerals (ASX: BAT) of the Spur project in central New South Wales.

The company moved into gold and Victoria in 2020 as a means of diversifying its portfolio, until then heavily weighted to graphite.

As well as adding this new gold project, the company plans a name change to Waratah Minerals following board changes and its plan now is to build a portfolio of copper-gold targets.

Spur is in what the company describes as the “heart” of the Lachlan Fold belt.

Located near giant Cadia mine

The Spur project is located 14km from Newcrest Mining’s (ASX: NCM) Cadia Valley operations which have a measured and indicated gold resource of 32.1 million ounces and 7.2 million tonnes of copper.

At Spur multiple epithermal gold targets have been identified down dip from open historical drill intercepts reported previously by Golden Cross Resources (ASX: GCR).

These included 86m at 1.56 grams per tonne gold, with a higher-grade interval of 6.5m at 9.4g/t gold.

Other holes returned 17m at 5.31g/t, 8m at 6.9g/t and 67m at 1.15g/t gold.

Drilling to start in December

Battery Minerals expects to begin drilling in December, subject to completion of the acquisition.

The initial exploration program will include diamond drill testing of extensions to known mineralisation, especially targeting the down dip and down plunge extensions at the Spur and Spur South Prospects.

The private vendor is to receive 15 million new shares valued at $0.04, 10 million options exercisable at $0.08 and another 30 million options exercisable at $0.16, plus a 2.5% net smelter royalty.

‘Transformative opportunity’

Battery Minerals managing director Peter Duerden said the deal provides ownership of a high-quality project with near-term drill targets down dip from open wide historical gold intercepts in the East Lachlan.

“This deal represents a transformative opportunity for the company.”

The acquisition of the Spur projects adds to Battery’s portfolio which is being tilted to copper-gold.

Other key projects in Victoria and Western Australia

The Stavely-Stawell project in Victoria contains the historic Moyston mine which produced 75,000 oz of gold at an average 22g/t.

It is also 7km from the historic Stawell gold mine which produced 5Moz of gold.

The company owns the 258 sq km Azura project near Halls Creek in Western Australia where there are widespread zones of surface copper mineralisation, returning up to 29.2% copper in rock chip samples.

It also holds a major interest in London Stock Exchange-listed Tirupati Graphite which is producing 30,000 tonnes per annum of flake graphite in Mozambique.