Auroch Minerals is bolstering its presence in Western Australia through a proposed acquisition of Minotaur Exploration’s Saints and Leinster nickel projects near Kalgoorlie.
Perth-based Auroch will take over Minotaur subsidiaries, Minotaur Gold Solutions and Altia Resources, which hold both projects.
Saints and Leinster are advanced, high-quality nickel sulphide projects with significant exploration potential, according to Auroch.
Included in the transaction will be Minotaur’s now-defunct Scotia nickel asset, which suffered a wall collapse in July 1977 and operations were terminated.
Minotaur’s $1.5 million sale realises its strategy to move away from its non-core assets and focus on its base metals prospects in Queensland and South Australia.
The company recently executed the Jericho copper joint venture (JV) with OZ Minerals, with the latter’s interest in the operation to rise from 70 to 80 per cent in exchange for a loan carry deal.
Auroch, on the other hand, has the financial capacity, technical and operational expertise to further enhance the value of the nickel assets through accelerated exploration and project development studies, according to Minotaur.
Saints and Leinster are part of a 121.5-square-kilometre tenement package in the Eastern Goldfields province of the Yilgarn Craton, which is considered highly prospective yet underexplored.
“The Saints and Leinster nickel projects are located in one of Western Australia’s most nickel-endowed greenstone belts, presenting great potential for significant nickel sulphide resources in a region supported by excellent existing infrastructure,” Auroch chief executive Aidan Paltel said.
“This acquisition provides Auroch with existing nickel resources as well as multiple drill-ready targets that the company will begin systematically testing immediately.
“The company is bullish on nickel and will utilise its excellent in-house nickel exploration technical expertise to continue its strategy of aggressively exploring for base metals in Australia.”
Auroch will issue around 23 million shares for Minotaur’s 18.8 ownership in the company, through which the latter will retain exposure to the Saints and Leinster projects. The acquisition is subject to Auroch’s shareholder and regulatory approvals.