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Novo forms new JV for multi-mineral East Pilbara play

Updated: Apr 23

Novo Resources has formed a new joint venture partnership with private company Liatam Mining. Credit: File

Novo Resources is closing out its year with a flurry, revealing it has formed a new joint venture partnership with private company Liatam Mining for its Quartz Hill project in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region.

Subject to TSX approval, Liatam has also agreed to invest $1.8 million to obtain 9 million Novo shares at 20 cents each to increase its shareholding from 3 per cent up to about 6 per cent. Novo entered into an agreement with Liatam last year, and the mining services company has now exceeded its required $1.75 million spend at Quartz Hill.

Following the completion of the earn-in agreement, the 80:20 Quartz Hill JV has now been formed. Liatam has acquired the legal title to the tenements and becomes the manager of the JV, while Novo retains a 20 per cent ownership of battery mineral rights, in addition to 100 per cent of gold and silver rights.

The Quartz Hill area is comprised of six granted exploration licenses, 19 prospecting licences and one exploration licence application covering about 770 square kilometres. The area is considered prospective for lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT)-style pegmatite mineralisation.

Novo is continuing its strategy to JV its prospective battery minerals tenements with battery minerals specialists. Novo is pleased that Liatam has quickly exceeded its minimum exploration spend to form the JV and Liatam will continue its strategy to explore for lithium bearing pegmatites at Quartz Hill. Liatam’s additional investment of $1.8 million in Novo also further validates Novo’s continuing exploration strategy and helps boost Novo’s current cash reserves and exploration budget.
Novo Resources co-chairman and acting chief executive officer Mike Spreadborough

News of the new JV follows revelations from Novo earlier this week that it was joining forces with SQM Australia after the latter agreed to pay $10 million for a 75 per cent interest in five of the former’s lithium-nickel tenements in the West Pilbara region. The two companies will create the “Harding Battery Metals” JV, with the deal also including an option over additional Pilbara tenements held by Novo.

SQM Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of global lithium giant Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile. The 660sq-km tenement package is located next to Azure Minerals’ Andover lithium-nickel project and Artemis Resources’ Carlow Castle gold-copper-cobalt project and the JV will be managed by SQM.

Following the deals of the past week, Novo says it is in a strong financial position to continue its aggressive exploration focus on key gold targets in both Victoria and the Pilbara region in the New Year.

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