Independence Group (IGO) will form a joint venture with three companies owned by high-profile prospector Mark Creasy that bolsters its position near the Nova nickel-copper mine in Western Australia.
IGO will pay the Creasy Group $21 million through a tenement purchase agreement to earn a 70 per cent share in the Southern Hills tenements in the Fraser Range.
The tenements are connected to IGO’s Nova mining lease and cover around 1100km2 of Fraser Range geology.
IGO, which can gain up to 95 per cent of Southern Hills, will manage and fund all exploration at the tenements through to a feasibility study.
Peter Bradford, IGO managing director and chief executive, said the acquisition of the 70 per cent JV interest further strengthened the company’s position in the Fraser Range.
“The Southern Hills tenements are a core package located proximal to the Nova operation within favourable stratigraphy and structural setting,” Bradford said.
“IGO is committed to discovery and we remain confident that there are further discoveries to be made on the Fraser Range.”
IGO plans to spend $50 million on exploration in the 2019 financial year, with 60 per cent of this budgeted for activities at Nova and on the Fraser Range, including at the Southern Hills tenements.
The Southern Hill tenements have only been partially assessed through regional soil sampling, isolated aircore drilling and electromagnetics.