This low-cost acquisition of an extensive exploration portfolio from an international major gives Walkabout Resources an excellent base from which to expand shareholder value through exploration into one of the most geologically diverse and relatively under explored regions – which is known to host PGMs, gold, base metals and lithium.
Walkabout’s core business strengths are the ability to identify and acquire exploration prospects that create follow-on opportunities. The expertise to leverage these strengths is key to growing the company, and will have no impact on the aggressive development timeline of the Lindi graphite project which is proceeding according to plan.
“The opportunity to acquire such an extensive high quality exploration portfolio from a major such as Lonmin is indicative of our team’s significant international expertise to assess the geological potential and move quickly to capitalise on these rare opportunities. This acquisition further provides a platform for growth and diversification both geographically and in terms of commodities,” says Walkabout Executive Chairman Trevor Benson.
The Lindi Jumbo graphite project remains the company’s flagship project. This is now essentially a development project with additional exploration potential and resource extension opportunities within the mining licence boundary which will only be exploited once development funding has been finalised.
To read more about the latest developments at the Lindi Jumbo project, click here
The Lonmin transaction
The acquisition, which will occur in two payments, includes the operating company Lonmin Northern Ireland Ltd (to be renamed), all exploration licences and applications held by the company, and the 50% gold joint venture in the highly prospective “Dalradian Gold Belt” with Koza UK Ltd.
Included in the Lonmin acquisition, Walkabout has access to extensive geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets (including drill core), considerable exploration equipment and suitable office premises.
Upon commencement of commercial production from the former Lonmin Northern Ireland Ltd licences, Walkabout will pay Lonmin a 2% Net Smelter Return on minerals and metals extracted from those licences. In excess of US$7 million has been expended on the portfolio to date.
Lonmin is underway with a strategic business plan to improve business sustainability, to learn more about this strategy, click here
Northern Ireland potential
The Northern Ireland exploration portfolio provides a “ready to go” exploration project and assets with significant upside potential.
In 2008, Lonmin targeted Northern Ireland as one of the most geologically diverse regions capable of hosting platinum group, and base metals mineralisation using the highly detailed Tellus Project database (airborne geophysics, soil, stream sediment and stream water sampling survey data) released by the Northern Ireland government.
Interpretation of this data led to numerous PGM and base metal targets and trends being identified and large areas pegged for exploration. Over time this area has been rationalised down to the most PGM, base metals and gold prospective areas covering approximately 1 000 km² in four mineral prospecting licences and two applications.
Northern Ireland is an exciting mineral exploration destination in a stable government and a well-established mining code that governs the extractive sector in the region.