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Larvotto Resources set to pocket $12m for Hillgrove development plans

Updated: Mar 25

Larvotto Resources is courting Wogen and Xcelsior Capital for a $12 million financing boost.

Larvotto Resources (ASX: LRV) is closing in on an international financing package worth a US$8 million (AU$12.1 million) to help develop the company’s Hillgrove antimony-gold project in New South Wales.

The company has today confirmed the signing of a non-binding terms sheet with Wogen and Xcelsior Capital that would provide it with a US$4 million (AU$6 million) pre-payment loan for the life of the Hillgrove mine and a $US4 million working capital loan. Management says its deal with Wogen will help it establish a long-term relationship with a leading antimony trading house that has more than 50 years of heritage and a global presence.

Hillgrove is believed to be in the world’s top 10 antimony deposits and has Australia’s biggest accumulation of the hard-silvery element, while it also features significant zones of high-grade gold. The financing deal will see London-based exotic metals and minerals expert Wogen provide exclusive offtake sales and distribution services globally for the gold concentrate for the life of the Hillgrove mine.

The agreement with critical metals and minerals financing group Xcelsior, also London-based, will aid Larvotto in completing an initial ore reserve statement and a bankable feasibility study (BFS), enabling it to progress towards project financing and kick off mining operations at Hillgrove.

For Wogen and Xcelsior to consider funding the development of the company is a massive endorsement of the project.
Larvotto Resources managing director Ron Heeks

Both facilities will be secured over the assets of Hillgrove Mines, while Larvotto will retain full rights to the operation’s gold doré sales. Gold doré refers to a bar usually composed of a mixture of precious metals, although they generally contain gold, silver and often copper.

Management says the non-binding term sheet is subject to several conditions, including standard due diligence and the negotiation of binding agreements.

The Wogen-Xcelsior combination was selected from a group of potential offtake partners. For Wogen and Xcelsior to consider funding the development of the company is a massive endorsement of the project and leaves the Company fully funded to move to project financing for Hillgrove while maintaining exploration on its other projects.
Larvotto Resources managing director Ron Heeks

The company’s non-executive chair Mark Tomlinson said that considering Larvotto’s short history, the substantial proposed funding package represented a milestone in the development and rebooting of operations at Hillgrove. He said it also confirms the company’s view that Hillgrove is a substantial asset, which it only acquired recently.

Xcelsior chief executive officer Liam Farley said the Hillgrove project represented an opportunity to finance the development of a high-quality, brownfield asset that will be a leading producer of antimony – a critical metal with limited western supply that is increasingly important to the energy transition through its use in the solar industry.

The Hillgrove project embraces an area of about 254 square kilometres and is made up of four exploration leases and 48 granted mining leases where a 1.4-million-ounce antimony-gold equivalent resource has been defined at a grade of 6.1g/t gold equivalent. The field also contains abundant untested tungsten, which has always been mined with the gold and antimony, but was never extracted in the process plant.

Both antimony and tungsten are on the critical minerals list of many countries, including the United States, China, Australia and the European Union.The Hillgrove mineral field has been an active mining centre for more than 100 years and is well-situated on existing transport infrastructure. It lies just 23km from the nearest main centre of Armidale in NSW and is nearby other hubs in Tamworth and coastal Coffs Harbour.

Historically, the Hillgrove field produced upwards of 750,000 ounces of gold and 40,000 tonnes of antimony. More than 200 high-grade antimony and gold exploration targets sit outside the current mineral resources area.

High-grade gold areas identified by Larvotto for further near-term drilling include the historic Bakers Creek and Clarks Gully areas. Additionally, old records show the mine tailings storage facility (TSF) contains about 1.4 million tonnes of tailings.

Old Hillgrove records show a considerable amount of gold and tungsten slipped past the processing plant historically and ended up in tailings. Current estimates and some metallurgical auger drilling by the company indicate the tailings contains a grade of about 1.34g/t gold, albeit more work needs to be done to confirm if that grade is consistent throughout.

None of the mineralisation contained in the tailings is included in Larvotto’s current mineral resource.

Management is already reviewing its ore reserves – a move that could support a preliminary feasibility study that is already in train – in addition to relevant metallurgical testwork, mining studies, plant rehabilitation and upgrade reviews.

Larvotto shares jumped more than 43 per cent today to touch a high of 9.3c, from a close yesterday of 6.5c, in the company’s biggest trading day since last April as more than 6.8 million shares changed hands.

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