Blackstone Minerals signs MoU with Korea’s Largest EV Battery Cathode Producer

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea’s largest electric vehicle (EV) battery cathode manufacturer.

Blackstone has inked a non-binding MoU with Ecopro BM Co Limited that outlines an alliance structure whereby Ecopro BM and Blackstone will work in partnership to develop a downstream processing facility in association with the company’s Ta Khoa nickel project in northern Vietnam.

The MoU is a boon for both entities in that Blackstone wishes to engage a development partner to provide funding to commercialise the Ta Khoa nickel project, while Ecopro BM has indicated its willingness to enter into an alliance with Blackstone with a view to formalising a Joint Venture on the downstream processing infrastructure project in association with the project.

The intention of the MOU is for the parties to enter into an alliance to form a Joint Venture with the intention to develop a suitable nickel, cobalt or other battery mineral product for lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

“We are pleased to announce an MoU with Korea’s largest cathode manufacturer,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson saidn in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Our Ta Khoa nickel project has significant potential to deliver the critical raw materials required for Ecopro’s cathode manufacturing process and meet the ever-increasing demand for high-nickel content cathodes driven by the imminent electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

“We look forward to finalising a formal agreement with Ecopro over the coming months.

“In the meantime, we continue the exploration and development of our flagship Ta Khoa nickel project in northern Vietnam.”

Blackstone is keen to deliver a maiden resource on the disseminated sulphide (DSS) at Ban Phuc over the coming months as it investigates the potential to restart the existing Ban Phuc concentrator through focused exploration on both massive sulphide veins (MSV) and DSS deposits.

The company has commenced a scoping study on the downstream processing facility at Ta Khoa, the purpose of which is to provide detail for potential JV partners to formalise a binding agreement.

Blackstone has commenced metallurgical testing on the Ban Phuc DSS orebody with an aim to develop a flow sheet for a product suitable for the lithium ion battery industry.

In addition, Blackstone intends to investigate the potential to develop downstream processing infrastructure in Vietnam to produce a downstream nickel and cobalt product to supply Asia’s growing lithium ion battery industry.

The Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam includes an existing modern nickel mine which has been under care and maintenance since 2016 due to falling nickel prices.

Existing infrastructure includes an internationally designed 450,000 tonnes per annum processing plant.






Lithium Australia and Neometals Leading the Australian LIB Recycling Pack

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: There is little doubt that the world is currently in the thrall of the lithium-ion battery (LIB).

They help us survive the modern struggles that we encounter on a daily basis, such as maintaining a charge on our mobile phones or computer-related devices, thus keeping us contacted with the rest of the world and our family members in the next room.

They are, presently, our greatest source of portable power.

They are also, ironically, creating an environmental nightmare.

Analysts who like to make themselves important have made some big predictions in recent years, especially in regard to the market penetration of LIBs, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) sector.

Through all the noise in this space, it has generally filtered through that it is likely that the availability of spent batteries will rise to more than seven million tonnes annually over the next 20 years.

Diligently, we sort our household rubbish each week, or fortnight, depending on the generosity of your local council, into different levels of importance, filling any number of bins to assuage our collective waste related guilt.

On a global basis, however, only around nine per cent of spent LIBs are recycled to keep them out of landfill and recover valuable metals.

In Australia, which is supposedly one of the recycling powerhouses, the recycling rate is embarrassing, some would say woeful, coming in at less than three per cent.

What this all means is that the world is missing out on a great opportunity – that being the large quantity of batteries discarded globally actually represents a potentially significant resource.

Australia is a long way behind the countries that are presently leading the battery recycling wars.

Belgium, South Korea, China and Canada recycle the most batteries, with the metals they contain generally recovered by smelting – or as it is referred to by those in the know – pyrometallurgical processing.

Pyrometallurgical processing of spent LIBs can efficiently recover nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese from LIBs, but not the lithium or graphite.

Research and development into the science by Western Australia-based battery recycling company, Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) realised that a potential alternative to the downsides associated with pyrometallurgical processing is to take a hydrometallurgical approach.

Lithium Australia is developing a hydrometallurgical technique that recovers all metals, including lithium, from spent LIBs.

Lithium Australia has openly declared that its corporate intentions include shoring up an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry, thus enhancing energy security in the process.

The company is eager to create a circular battery economy and has highlighted the recycling of old lithium-ion batteries to new is intrinsic to this plan.

In October 2019, Lithium Australia announced it had increased its equity in Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd (EA) to 23.9 per cent.

Envirostream is the only company in Australia with the integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of spent LIBs.

Another string to Lithium Australia’s LIB bow is it 100 per cent-owned subsidiary company, VSPC Ltd that has developed advanced processes for manufacturing lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) cathode powders at its R&D and pilot plant facility in Brisbane, Queensland.

The cathode powders produced by VSPC possess simple nanotechnology that produces superior battery cathodes, provides control of composition and particle size in a precise manner and highly reliable quality control with low production costs.

Recent evaluation of VSPC’s Gen 4 LFP cathode material was undertaken at Chinese battery producer DLG Battery Co., Ltd. That saw the materials assessed in a commercial 18650 battery-cell format under a range of electrochemical and temperature conditions and subjected to long-term cycle testing.

The testing concluded that VSPC’s LFP material met DLG’s stringent specifications for use in LIB cells for both power and energy applications.

VSPC also received positive feedback from Japanese battery-cell producers, which are evaluating its LFP products at laboratory scale with the electrochemical performance of VSPC’s LFP material meeting the rigorous Japanese requirements.

“This year has seen a significant shift in the Chinese battery markets, with greater demand for LFP for use in short-range electric vehicle and energy-storage applications,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.

“The test results from battery producers in China and Japan show clearly that the performance of VSPC cathode powders is comparable to other materials currently supplied for the production of LFP LIBs.

“We look forward to furthering our partnerships within the battery industry and, ultimately, supplying products that meet not only VSPC’s stringent quality specifications but those of its international customers.”

Lithium Australia anticipates the market for LFP to grow strongly in the next 10 years, due to its particular suitability for energy storage and certain types of transportation, which includes being a replacement for lead-acid batteries in various automotive applications and as back-up for power supplies.

Another Western Australian company that was an early battery recycling proponent is Neometals (ASX: NMT).

Neometals has been also carrying out LIB Pilot test-work, however its focus is the recovery of very high-purity (+99.9%) nickel-sulphate solution from the hydrometallurgical processing stage of its patent pending recycling technology.

The latest tests produced nickel recovery from shredded battery feed into nickel product that exceeded 98 per cent.

The Pilot test-work being is being undertaken on behalf of Neometals by SGS Canada Inc.

The work represents part of the pre-development activities for a proposed commercial LIB recycling venture targeting greater than 90 per cent recovery of LIB materials from electric vehicle and consumer electronics production scrap and end-of-life cells.

Neometals shredded and processed 2.3 tonnes of spent commercial LIBs during the initial Feed Preparation Stage of the Pilot test-work.

A total of 980 kilograms of mixed cathode and anode materials, known as Black Powder, fed the subsequent hydrometallurgical processing stage, from which chemical products are recovered and refined into high-purity cathode intermediate materials.

The Hydrometallurgical Processing stage leaches the Black Powder and sequentially recovers cathode materials, which are refined to generate high-purity chemical products for potential sale directly into the battery supply chain.

As the Pilot test-work program draws towards completion, it does so having recovered a suite of materials, including copper, manganese, cobalt and nickel-sulphates.

“The Pilot test-work continues to deliver very encouraging results that support the Neometals desire to sell high-purity cathode materials back into the battery supply chain,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said.

“With provenance, ethical supply and material scarcity concerns, a sustainable, secure supply chain will be key for leaders in energy storage.

“Eco-friendly recycling will play that vital role and our development timing aligns well with global forecast cell capacity against the projected supply deficit in traditional mine-sourced battery minerals.”

Neometals said the purity and the recovery rates of the nickel product materially had exceeded its expectations, enabling it to tick off another milestone in the confirmation of the technical feasibility of the company’s proprietary process.

The company explained that the recovery of cobalt and nickel are key drivers of the project economics adding that the Pilot purity/recovery data strongly supports the validity of previous economic evaluations.

Neometals expects to hit its remains on schedule for completing the bulk of the Pilot stage by December 2019.

It is also expected that the recovery of lithium will be due to commence prior to year-end and be concluded in January 2020 along with outcomes from final purification and crystallisation to produce ultra-high purity, cathode materials.

Successful completion of the Pilot and confirmation of the mass-energy balances are the key technical considerations for SMS Group’s due diligence for a 50:50 joint venture decision.






Matador Mining Progresses Cape Ray Environmental Assessment

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) updated the market on progress of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process for the company’s Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland, Canada.

Matador Mining said it has made good significant progress in the latter half of this year regarding Environmental Assessments, specifically in the important areas of First Nation and Stakeholder Consultation.

The company has had meetings with the two Mi’kmaq First Nation Communities, from which it said positive feedback was received from the Chiefs and Band Councils.

Public meetings were also held in Port aux Basques and Isle aux Morts to present the project to the local communities that were both very well attended with local support for the project on show.

The company also provided insight to Environmental Baseline studies it has underway to satisfy Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines.

These are nearing completion and are expected to be completed early in 2020.

Meetings with officials at the provincial and federal environmental assessment agencies provided positive feedback on the process.

Matador has a Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submission date targeted for Q3 2020 with approvals targeted for early 2021.

Other meetings have also been held with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) that have identified potential grid connection points and internal studies have been initiated by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to determine optimal grid connection points for project power.

Matador indicated this could have potential to reduce operating costs, which will be highlighted in the company’s development study that remains on track to be released during Q1 2020.

“The pace at which we have been able to move ahead with our Environmental Assessment for the Cape Ray gold project has been very encouraging and initial discussions with elected officials in Newfoundland have garnered significant project support with the permitting process expected to be completed in a relatively short time frame,” Matador Mining technical director Keith Bowes said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“In parallel with our assessment work we are also pursuing options for grid power connections for a future operation.

“Newfoundland has an abundance of hydroelectric power (through the new Maritime link) which will benefit the project as grid connections are in close proximity to the site and power authorities have already expressed a willingness to support the project.

“Given the current status of the Environmental Assessment, the progress made with the exploration program and our initial assessment work, Matador is on track to potentially become the next major gold producing mine in Newfoundland.”






Altech Chemicals Explains High Purity Alumina Use in Semi-Conductor Applications

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sometimes a company announcement comes along that needs to be brought to the attention of punters, simply due to the information it presents.

Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX: ATC) released such an announcement today; one that provides information regarding the use of high purity alumina (HPA) in the manufacture of epoxy moulding compounds (EMCs) that are used in the semi-conductor industry to improve heat dissipation.

Altech recently commenced an investigation of the EMC for semi-conductor market for the purpose of targeting some of its future HPA product into this market segment.

The information below is straight from the announcement. There has been no editing by The Resources Roadhouse as we feel it tells the story in a much more knowledgeable fashion than we could.

Introduction of alumina into EMCs used in semi-conductors

Typically industrial-strength epoxy compounds are used for the package assembly of semi-conductors, as the epoxy compounds provide the required physical protection, mechanical strength, as well as a number of desired performance properties – primarily in relation to heat and moisture, both of which can destroy a semi-conductor, warp an electronic device (that the semi-conductor is used in), or even cause a device to catch fire.

Electronic devices continue to become more compact – Moore’s Law – the exponential growth in the number of transistors that can be packed into a single semi-conductor.

However, thermal or heat dissipation is a real problem as semi-conductors continue to reduce in size and contain more transistors.

It is suggested that heat could represent the ultimate barrier to the ever smaller and more powerful semi-conductors that end-users have become accustomed to.

The epoxy resins that have traditionally been used for semi-conductor package assembly are reaching their limits in terms of effective heat dissipation.

However, adding thermally conductive materials into the resins has been demonstrated to improve heat dissipation and thereby improve the protection of semi-conductors against heat related failure.

The thermally conductive fillers that are being used include HPA, crystalline silica, and magnesium oxide.

HPA however is a preferred filer, due to its heat conductivity (7 times higher than silica) and a much lower thermal expansion coefficient (50% lower).

Figure 1 below illustrates a typical semi-conductor chip encased in an epoxy resin compound with HPA used as a thermal filler.

The heat produced from a semi-conductor chip and the die pad more efficiently dissipates via the alumina rich epoxy resin and lowers thermal stress related problems for the semi-conductor and the assembly package (integrated circuit board).

Figure 2 below is a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of HPA used as a filler material in an epoxy resin moulding compound. The image demonstrates the efficiency of the conductive filler within the epoxy resin package.

The purity of the material selected as the conductive filler in an epoxy resin for use in the semi-conductor industry is extremely important, consequently there are very stringent (and low) limits on the impurities permitted in the chosen filler.

Of the impurities, sodium is probably the most detrimental element.

Radioactive material is another detrimental impurity, as gamma rays from an impurity such as thorium increases the likelihood of semi-conductor and/or CPU malfunction.

Thorium is present in bauxite, the traditional feedstock used for the production of aluminium.

A small amount of thorium residue will remain in any HPA produced via the conventional bauxite – alumina – aluminium production process (Bayer process).

Thorium is not present in HPA that is produced from Altech’s kaolin HCL processing route.

Special morphologies (crystal form, shape and structure) are also demanded of the EMC filler, in the case of HPA the industry requires a morphology that is conducive to low viscosity, an attribute that is favourable in the epoxy resin packaging process.

Altech’s preliminary investigation into the demand for high quality HPA from the EMC semi-conductor market indicates a global market size in the range of 700 – 900tpa, with a price of US$100/kg being commanded by product that meets required specifications.

Year-on-year growth in the market is typically in line with growth experienced in the semi-conductor business.

Altech believes that its low sodium HPA, and the morphology of its HPA, may be ideal for the EMC semi-conductor application, and the company intends to commence the development of a product specification that may suit this market sector’s requirements.





Venture Minerals Moves Riley Mine Towards Production

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Venture Minerals (ASX: VMS) provided an update on the progress of construction activities at the company’s Riley iron ore mine in Tasmania.

Venture Minerals said it was advancing towards production with site preparation nearing completion.

Recent pre-production capital expenditure has been spent on installing the site offices, construction of the ROM Pad and completion of upgrades to the on-site haulage roads.

The company indicated it is moving closer to finalising and negotiating a road access agreement for a portion of privately held road and nominating a preferred road haulage tenderer.

“Preparations for the first ore shipment are also well advanced with port access agreements being negotiated and positive ongoing discussions with shipping brokers regarding availability of ships for the Riley product,” Venture Minerals said in its ASX announcement.

“Venture continues to work on additional strategies identified to further reduce operating costs on the project before the first ore shipment.

“These cost optimisation programs will focus on increased efficiencies from detailed mine scheduling and enhancing the logistics chain for transporting the iron ore including an application to go to 24-hour trucking.

“The company looks forward to keeping the market informed on any further developments on the Riley Iron Ore Mine.”





Azure Minerals Completes Strategic Mexican Land Acquisition

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has completed the acquisition of the Sara Alicia II mineral concession that adjoins the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sara Alicia property in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

Azure Minerals was able to complete the acquisition with by overturning an historical cancellation of the Sara Alicia II mineral concession.

The acquisition of Sara Alicia II, when combined with the original Sara Alicia concession, brings the total project area to 49 hectares, which Azure says strengthens its land position in what it considers being a gold and cobalt-rich district.

Azure indicated it is continuing to monitor the surrounding land ownership situation with the view to increasing the company’s landholding in this district when additional land becomes available.

“Sara Alicia II adjoins our current holding and, importantly, the combined area covers the full footprint of the body hosting the high-grade gold and cobalt mineralisation,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We have been working on acquiring this very strategic concession for over two years and exploration at Sara Alicia was suspended so as not to generate further interest in the area and to ensure the acquisition of Sara Alicia II was completed without interference or competition.

“The Sara Alicia project area is very prospective for high-grade gold and cobalt, as is evident by the exceptional hits from our previous drilling.

“The mineralised body hosting this high-grade gold and cobalt mineralisation is known to extend onto the newly acquired concession and we expect that further exploration will significantly enhance project value.

“The widespread presence of strongly altered carbonate rocks intruded by an underlying porphyry intrusive indicates the property also has good potential for the discovery of a gold-rich skarn of significant size.

“Exploration on Sara Alicia II will initially be reconnaissance in nature, as our primary focus remains on the near-term drilling campaign at Alacrán to grow the existing silver and gold resource base of the Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits, while continuing to advance the small-scale mining and processing of high-grade zinc-lead ore at Oposura.”




Lithium Australia Takes Larger Stake in Battery Recycler Envirostream

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has made further inroads in its quest to ensure an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry as well as enhancing energy security in the process, by creating a circular battery economy.

The recycling of old lithium-ion batteries to new is intrinsic to this plan and Lithium Australia announced the achievement of a key milestone in its circular battery economy plans by confirming an increase in the company’s stake in leading Australian battery recycler Envirostream from 23.9 per cent to 73.7 per cent.

Envirostream recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korean company SungEel HiTech Co., Ltd for the sale of recycled battery metals that covers the exclusive supply of metals extracted from recycled lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) out of Australia.

That supply comprises mixed metal dust (MMD) that contains the energy metals cobalt, nickel and lithium that are recovered from spent LIBs at Envirostream’s battery recycling plant in Melbourne.

Envirostream is the only company in Australia with the integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of spent LIBs, making it a perfect fit with Lithium Australia’s critical battery metal extraction expertise.

During FY19, Envirostream generated $1.3 million in revenue from recycling 149 tonnes of spent batteries.

The expanded plant, which has the capacity to recycle up to 3,000 tonnes per annum of batteries, has been successfully commissioned with first MMD produced.

It is currently in the process of being ramped up and optimised.

“Lithium Australia views the acquisition of a controlling interest in Envirostream as not only taking a key position in the recycling of battery metals, but also providing an environmental solution for all Australians that use batteries,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Following the successful construction and commissioning of Australia’s biggest lithium ion battery recycling plant, Envirostream can now focus on the roll out of its Australia-wide collection network.

“Together, Lithium Australia and Envirostream are developing environmentally responsible solutions to the mounting problems of spent batteries.

“Keeping spent batteries from landfill and exporting the energy metals they contain is an Australian imperative.

“Closing the loop on the production of battery materials reduces the environmental footprint of the mining and processing aspects inherent in battery production, improves sustainability and prevents the components of spent batteries from leaking into groundwater and oceans as a consequence of their relegation to landfill or transport to other jurisdictions.

“Envirostream can provide an immediate and viable solution to the LIB disposal crisis in this country.”

As part consideration for the acquired interest Lithium Australia has made a payment to Envirostream of $100,000, a percentage of which will be used by Envirostream for commissioning its expanded Melbourne battery recycling facilities.

Following the acquisition of LIT’s 73.7 pwer cent interest in Envirostream, the company’s founder Andrew Mackenzie will remain as managing director while Adrian Griffin will be appointed non-executive chairman and Andrew Skalski will be appointed as a non-executive director.





Cassini Resources and OZ Minerals Expand WMP Tenure

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI) announced an extension to exploration tenure at the West Musgrave Project (WMP), a Joint Venture with OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) in Western Australia.

Cassini Resources explained the JV partners are currently undertaking a Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) on the Nebo-Babel deposits in conjunction with a regional exploration program across the WMP.

The new tenement applications, held by Cassini subsidiary Crossbow Resources Pty Ltd, have been accepted into the West Musgrave Project JV, taking the total land position in the West Musgrave Province, once granted, to over 8,000 square kilometres.

Cassini will manage the exploration of the new tenements in conjunction with the regional exploration of the existing tenure.

The new tenements are considered prospective for magmatic nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation similar to the Nebo-Babel deposits currently under evaluation, as well as sediment-hosted (Zambian-style) copper sulphide mineralisation.

“This is an exciting development for the West Musgrave Project which demonstrates the Joint Venture’s long-term commitment to the province,” Cassini Resources managing director Richard Bevan said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This is one of the last frontiers for greenfield exploration in Australia and some of the areas targeted have never had a single soil sample taken, let alone a drill hole.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to leverage our capabilities and knowledge in this under-explored region, where we will potentially have a significant mining operation.

“We are working through the granting process and look forward to getting on the ground in due course.”





Meteoric Resources Raises $7M to Accelerate Brazilian Exploration

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) has received firm commitments to raise $7 million by way of the placement of 140 million new shares to sophisticated and professional investors at five cents per share.

Meteoric Resources advised the funds raised would enable acceleration of exploration activities at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Juruena and Novo Astro gold projects located in the Alta Floresta Gold Belt in that state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Meteoric currently has maiden drilling programs underway at both projects.

“The support we have received from both existing and new shareholders for Meteoric’s Brazilian portfolio of gold assets is a true testament to the sheer prospectivity that exists at both Novo Astro and Juruena,” Meteoric Resources managing director Dr Andrew Tunks said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“As a Board, we are delighted with how our initial exploration of both projects has progressed since acquisition in March of this year and this $7 million Placement, which follows the $2.7 million in August, puts us in good stead to accelerate exploration at both our key projects.

“Following on from the completion next month of the 26 hole, 4,500 metres initial drilling program at Juruena, it is our intention to evaluate our program and plan for the next season of drilling.

“It is anticipated that the new drilling will focus on expanding the known mineralisation at depth at Dona Maria and along strike at Tomate.

“Additionally, we will look at several other under drilled targets and the largely unexplored Arrasto Hills to the Northwest where the strongly altered volcanics demand further investigation.”




Carawine Resources Strike Farm-In and Joint Venture with FMG

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Carawine Resources (ASX: CWX) has entered into a Farm-In and Joint Venture Agreement with a subsidiary of FMG Resources (ASX: FMG).

Carawine Resources said the deal will cover exploration of the Lamil Hills (E45/5326), Trotman South (E45/4847) and Sunday (E45/5229) tenements all part of the company’s Paterson project in Western Australia.

Lamil Hills is within 30 kilometres to the northwest of Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold-copper mine; Trotman South is 30km to the south of the Telfer mine; and Sunday is within 5km of Metals X’s Maroochydore copper-cobalt deposit.

The tenements are at an early exploration stage, with Carawine’s work to date comprising target generation activities based mostly on work by previous explorers.

Under the terms of the agreement FMG will explore Carawine’s eastern Paterson project tenements targeting copper, gold and base metals.

Fortescue is to pay $125,000 cash up front and spend $0.5 million on exploration in the first eighteen months.

Fortescue has the right to earn up to a 75 per cent interest by spending $6 million total in two stages:

Stage 1: 51 per cent interest after $1.5 million exploration spend within three years; and
Stage 2: 24 per cent interest after additional $4.5 million exploration spend within four years.

The agreement works well for both entities as it provides Fortescue with highly prospective tenement holding within the Paterson Province and ensures Carawine is well positioned to share in the benefits of any discovery.

The deal complements Carawine’s recent farm-in and joint venture agreement with Rio Tinto subsidiary, Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd, with the potential for up to $11.5 million to be spent on exploration at the Paterson Project under both agreements.

“With the addition of Fortescue as a partner in the Paterson we now have two major resource companies funding exploration on our Paterson tenements,” Carawine Resources managing director David Boyd said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This Agreement gives Fortescue access to underexplored tenements over highly prospective ground.

“This deal also ensures Carawine is well positioned to share in the benefit of any discoveries, with Fortescue well placed to support a potential development should the exploration activities be successful.

“The Agreement with Fortescue represents a further endorsement of Carawine’s exploration targeting strategy, which has already led to the formation of active joint ventures with Rio Tinto Exploration in the Paterson province and with Independence Group NL in the Fraser Range region of WA.”