Independence Group’s (IGO) recasting of itself as a battery materials specialist following the recent sale of its second-rate zinc/copper assets for $120 million requires the establishment of a supporting multi-decade nickel, copper and cobalt resource base.
Its $1.8 billion acquisition of the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt project in 2015 by taking over Sirius Resources is the linchpin in the battery materials strategy, but IGO needs to find a couple more Novas to give the strategy any real meaning, or point of differentiation.
That’s why IGO has a massive exploration effort underway elsewhere in Nova’s backyard, the remote Fraser Range of WA. It has budgeted $30m this financial year on exploring across its 15,800sqkm footprint on a 425km stretch of the Fraser Range.
The footprint includes myriad IGO-managed joint ventures with juniors which along with IGO, all have the great hope that the 2012 discovery of Nova can be repeated.
All that is by way of background to Tuesday’s announcement from IGO that it had struck a $21m shares and cash deal with prospector extraordinaire and IGO’s biggest shareholder, Mark Creasy, to acquire a 70% interest in 1,100sqkms of tenements to the west and south-west of Nova.
It is a fancy price for the so-called Southern Hills tenements, which have a “number of targets’’ that have not been drill tested.
Now readers of this space will remember that there is strong industry speculation that Creasy has made a nickel-copper discovery on his own account in an area about 25km north-east of Nova. Further, the speculation was that IGO was in talks to acquire the discovery from Creasy.
IGO would not comment on speculation last week, and Creasy would only say that he could not say “anything about it at the moment”.
The rumoured Creasy discovery – said to be about one-third the size of Nova – is clearly not on the Southern Hills tenements, which contains only targets, albeit expensive ones. So we are all left to wonder if there is another deal to be done by IGO and Creasy on the rumoured discovery.
Plus, knocked-down Explaurum starts fightback with strong drilling results from WA gold project. Read more +