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Ardea Resources, Brightstar Resources expand flagship projects with land swap

Updated: Mar 27

Ardea Resources and Brightstar Resources have agreed to a tenement swap in a tenure boost for their respective flagship projects. Credit: File

Ardea Resources and Brightstar Resources have agreed to a tenement swap as the former looks to expand its Kalgoorlie nickel project Goongarrie Hub, while the latter builds its Menzies gold-lithium operation.

Brightstar will acquire all mineral rights to 10 prospecting licenses immediately adjacent to or along strike at its existing holdings, in addition to gold and lithium rights to another exploration license.

In turn, Ardea will gain all mineral rights to three tenements, all rights other than gold on another three licenses and infrastructure tenement rights to a seventh site. It will also retain all mineral rights apart from gold and lithium on one of Brightstar’s new tenements, in addition to a 2 per cent net smelter royalty on any lithium extracted and sold.

The tenure acquired by Brightstar is prospective for gold and lithium mineralisation, while also providing additional ground and access for potential future mining infrastructure.

Ardea says one of the key benefits of the transaction is the extra land area acquired around its important Goongarrie and Highway production mining leases. Management believes there is an opportunity to increase the size of its nickel-cobalt laterite resource and ore reserve by extending the existing Highway deposit northwards.

Both companies have described the deal as a “win-win” and an opportunity to secure additional tenure to benefit their respective flagship operations.

Just last month, Brightstar cracked the magical million-ounce milestone after upgrading the resource for its Cork Tree Well deposit to a total of 1.02 million gold ounces across its Laverton and Menzies projects.

The independently-completed upgrade at the deposit saw Cork Tree Well increase by 20 per cent from 252,000 gold ounces up to 303,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal.

The company is now moving towards becoming WA’s next gold producer after last month completing its successful merger with Kingwest Resources.

Earlier this month, Ardea completed a prefeasibility study for Goongarrie Hub. Management has projected production of about 30,000 tonnes of nickel and 2000 tonnes of cobalt a year from a freshly-minted ore reserve of 194.1 million tonnes averaging 0.7 per cent nickel and 0.05 per cent cobalt for 1.36 million tonnes of contained nickel and 99,000 tonnes of contained cobalt.

The latest deal has been concluded without any direct cash payment or equity issue allowing companies to focus on their flagship projects. Both Ardea and Brightstar are eyeing production at their respective flagship operations and the additional tenure appears to mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Little doubt a win-win, as they say.

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