IGO farms into Venus Metals’ Bridgetown Greenbushes project

IGO Venus Metals Bridgetown Greenbushes project ASX VMC lithium
IGO can progressively acquire up to 70% interest in Venus’ lithium project by spending $6 million in exploration.

Diversified explorer Venus Metals Corporation (ASX: VMC) has announced it has secured IGO Limited (ASX: IGO) as a joint venture partner at its Bridgetown Greenbushes lithium-nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) project in Western Australia.

Under a binding farm-in and joint venture deal inked between subsidiaries of the companies, IGO can progressively acquire up to a 70% stake in the project by spending $6 million in exploration.

The IGO subsidiary will solely fund all joint venture expenditure until the completion of a pre-feasibility study in relation to the project.

If this study is completed, it will also have the right to acquire the Venus subsidiary’s 30% interest “for a price based on fair market value”.

Should the IGO subsidiary elect not to acquire Venus’ 30% share, IGO is expected to use reasonable endeavours to market and process all joint venture projects including Venus’ share.

IGO invests in Venus

In addition, IGO Limited has taken a placement of 9 million fully paid shares in Venus at $0.23 per share, raising $2.07 million before costs.

This is considered a major boost for Venus given the company’s closing price on Friday of $0.18.

Venus managing director Matthew Hogan said the company is delighted to welcome IGO as a substantial shareholder.

“IGO Limited’s knowledge and technical expertise regarding lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites and nickel-copper-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.”

Bridgetown Greenbushes exploration project

This world-leading lithium mine Mr Hogan is referring to is the Greenbushes lithium mine, which is jointly owned by Albemarle Corporation (49%) and a joint venture between IGO and Tianqi Lithium Corp (49%/51%). The western boundary of Venus’ tenure abuts the Greenbushes mining leases.

Venus’ exploration project comprises the Greenbushes East lithium and Bridgetown East nickel-copper-PGE projects covering four granted tenements and two applications.

Systematic geochemical surveys across the western part of Venus’ tenure are planned to identify potential lithium-caesium-tantalum targets under soil cover.

The company had also planned drill testing of existing anomalies.

In the south of one of the granted tenements, an ultrafine soil survey completed by Venus discovered a strong lithium anomaly about 20km southeast of the Greenbushes lithium mine. It was reportedly associated with elevated tin, while elevated tungsten and tantalum concentrations adjoin the lithium anomaly to the west.

The anomaly, located within a distinct low in the regional aeromagnetic data, measures approximately 300m by 400m and remains open to the north.

The Bridgetown East project falls within the West Yilgarn nickel-copper-PGE province that was first outlined by Chalice Mining (ASX: CHN) and abuts Chalice’s and Venture Minerals’ (ASX: VMS) Southwest project.

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