Hancock adds more to Mt Bevan metal mix
FOLLOWING field work that suggests the terrain within the Mt Bevan project in Western Australia’s Yilgarn Craton has potential for battery metals, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has struck a deal for a larger slice of the pie.
Hancock, which is already progressing a large magnetite iron ore study over the area, has renegotiated its earn-in with its junior partners giving it the exclusive right to assess the potential for nickel, lithium, and copper over the next three months.
The non-binding agreement sets the table for a desktop study, with the clock to start ticking as soon as Hancock can access all the legacy exploration data from the tenements’ original owners: Legacy Iron Ore and Hawthorn Resources.
The Mt Bevan project, 100km west of Leonora, contains 1.17 billion tonnes of magnetite grading 34.9%, but within its 165sq.km borders recent satellite spectral data analysis suggests there it potential for battery metals.
The study, which replaced a proposed geological mapping and surface sampling program, has firmed up some target areas for further investigation.
The ownership of any multi-metal JV hasn’t been set out.
Since April, Hancock has earned 30% of the iron ore rights, alongside Legacy (42%) and Hawthorn (28%) by commencing a prefeasibility study via its Atlas Iron business.
Legacy had owned 60% and Hawthorn 40%, but under an agreement first flagged in November 2021, Hancock is investing an initial A$9 million.
Hancock can mover to 51% by finalising the PFS, reducing Legacy to 29.4% and Hawthorn to 19.6%.
Legacy and Hawthorn originally indicated they would keep the rights for all other minerals in the Mt Bevan area, and their work appeared to reduce the prospectivity for nickel sulphides last year, but clearly something has been seen in the data to change the approach, and Hancock is sufficiently interested to consider invest in greenfields exploration.
Legacy shares closed at 2c on Friday, valuing it at $128 million, while Hawthorn’s stock closed at 8.5c, capitalising it at $28 million.