IGO (ASX: IGO) was down -3.65% at the open despite the battery minerals miner reporting what appears at first glance to be progress with two new joint ventures.
Firstly, the company advised that wholly-owned subsidiary, Western Areas Limited (ASX: WSA) – now suspended - has satisfied the Stage-1 requirements of its Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement (EIJVA) with Metal Hawk Ltd (ASX: MHK).
Having already spent $3m on exploration across the JV projects during the Stage-1 agreement, IGO is now entitled to a 51% JV interest in Metal Hawk’s Kanowna East, Emu Lake and Fraser South projects.
Some investors may be irked by the requirement for IGO to spend another $4m - on exploration within Stage-2 of the EIJVA - to earn an additional 24% joint venture interest.
Diamond drilling is due to recommence at Kanowna East in July, while at Emu Lake moving loop ground electromagnetic (MLEM) surveys are scheduled to commence in the third quarter 2022.
At Fraser South, a heritage survey is scheduled for July 2022 to allow access for a reconnaissance AC drilling program planned to commence in October.
Metal Hawk retains 100% of the gold rights at Kanowna East and Emu Lake.
Commenting on recent progress, Metal Hawk managing director Will Belbin noted.
“We have been really pleased with the pace and quality of exploration carried out by our joint venture partner… the election by IGO to progress to Stage-2 is a tremendous outcome for Metal Hawk that will see a substantial step-up in exploration expenditure without drawing on shareholders’ funds.”
Following on from the company’s successful takeover of Western Areas, IGO today also announced a JV partnership with St George Mining’s (ASX: SGQ) E29/638, the exploration licence at the core of the Mt Alexander Project.
Under the JV agreement, E29/638 – which covers the high-grade Cathedrals, Stricklands, Investigators and Radar nickel-copper-PGE discoveries - IGO retains a 25% non-contributing interest until there is a decision to mine.
With the seismic survey of 13-line kilometres now complete, drilling is scheduled to commence in approximately four weeks.
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