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Brightstar, DevEx sign farm-in JV on Goongarrie nickel

The “Goongarrie” salt lakes were at the centre of a gold rush way back in 1893. Credit: Gold Industry Group

Brightstar Resources has inked an earn-in agreement with DevEx Resources on two of the former’s easternmost Goongarrie project exploration licences in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

The deal will see Brightstar retain all gold rights, while DevEx can earn up 75 per cent of the non-gold rights by exploring the nickel potential of the project.

Under the terms of the agreement, DevEx must conduct a SQUID EM electromagnetic survey within the first year. It can then earn a 51 per cent interest in the non-gold mineral rights by spending at least $1 million within two years of the agreement date and can then grab another 24 per cent slice with a further $2 million outlay within the following two years.

This Earn-in Agreement provides an exciting opportunity to partner with DevEx that will see the targeted exploration of non-gold mineralisation, in particular nickel sulphides, under Lake Goongarrie. Brightstar will retain a meaningful stake in these tenements and exposure to any potential nickel discovery, as well as retaining the gold rights. This transaction is part of Brightstar’s focused strategy of transitioning towards becoming a gold developer and producer. As the Company advances towards gold production from the Selkirk deposit at Menzies, Brightstar continues to look for opportunities to prioritise and progress exploration across our broader tenement portfolio. Brightstar Resources managing director Alex Rovira

The company’s Goongarrie project exploration licences sit on the saline sediments of Lake Goongarrie that cover the northward extension of the nickeliferous Highway ultramafic, which hosts several “Kambalda-type” channel nickel sulphide deposits along strike to the south of Brightstar’s ground.

The potential for nickel mineralisation at the site was identified last year by Kingwest Resources, which recently merged with Brightstar. Kingwest had been exploring an 11km strike through its lake-dominated tenure for the potential continuity of the Highway ultramafic, which it had interpreted from aeromagnetic data. Kingwest completed 7788m of drilling along the Highway ultramafic trend, identifying a distinctive unit running north under the lake from the known deposits south of the licences. They include Future Battery Minerals’ Saints nickel sulphide deposit with a 2002 JORC resource 1.02 million tonnes at 2 per cent nickel for 21,400 tonnes of contained nickel, and the historic Scotia Nickel Mine that produced 30,800 tonnes of nickel metal between 1969 and 1977.

It is notable that Kingwest also referenced previous historic drillholes completed by Western Mining Corporation within its ground that returned intersections of up to 21m at 0.4 percent nickel.

The deal with Brightstar will offer DevEx the chance to explore a tantalising target with known nickel deposits along an 11km strike of ground that has already been drilled.

Brightstar says the agreement sits neatly within its goal of achieving gold production across its Menzies and Laverton gold projects, while it retains its exposure to Goongarrie gold upsides. It also recently completed a “win-win” tenement swap with Ardea Resources that will allow it to build on its Menzies gold-lithium operation.

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