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Venture Minerals to jump into Jupiter after Tasmanian iron ore sale


Venture Minerals has sold its Riley iron-ore project in Tasmania and will focus on its promising Jupiter rare earths deposit in WA.

A record-breaking string of rare earths hits at Venture Minerals’ (ASX: VMS) Jupiter deposit in Western Australia’s Mid West region has prompted the company to sell its Riley iron ore project in Tasmania for a cool $3 million.


Management now plans to exit all of its Tasmanian operations, with a commitment to using its significant cash injection to level its focus on the promising Jupiter deposit within its flagship Brothers project. As part of the Riley deal with private West Perth-based firm Gold Valley, that company has also agreed to assume Venture’s $585,000 bank guarantee that is held by Mineral Resources Tasmania in connection with the mining licence.


Gold Valley has already paid Venture $50,000 and will complete the deal by transferring the remainder of the $3 million within just 10 days.


Venture will also now pursue the sale of its Mt Lindsay iron ore and Mt Livingston tin projects in Tasmania. It says the decision to exit Tasmania was made after a detailed investigative process.


Ultimately, management decided the best way to unlock value for the company’s shareholders was to sell the Riley project due to the costs involved with keeping it, as the project’s economics were showing only a marginal return.


The company confirmed as significant board refresh in May and its new management team has wasted little time in shaking up its portfolio of projects and an advisor will now be appointed to conduct the sale process for Mt Livingston and Mt Lindsay. Both projects have been on Venture’s books for many years and Mt Lindsay is considered to contain one of the world’s biggest undeveloped tin resources – so it is likely to attract plenty of interest.


The sale of Riley sees Venture receiving three million dollars and our environmental bond of over half-a-million dollars being returned to the Company. This capital injection will be used to advance our high-grade, clay-hosted rare earth project, Jupiter.
Venture Minerals managing director Philippa Leggat

The Riley project has been on care and maintenance since 2021 and being a high-cost iron-ore operation, it would need to see prices far above the current levels to be rebooted. Management decided that based on the wide range of factors it considered, the decision to focus on its rare earth assets is more likely to reward its shareholders.


Adding to Venture’s existing bank balance of $1.6 million, the sale proceeds and return of its bank guarantee funds will assist with funding further exploration at the promising Jupiter site.


The Brothers project sits 80km south-west of the WA town of Mount Magnet and Jupiter has produced several stunning recent drill hits, such as 2m at 26,958ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO), a whopping 60m at 2014ppm and an intersection described by management as Australia’s best-ever rare earths drill hit of 48m at 3025ppm. The company also revealed a “head-turning” 58m at 2723ppm TREO, which it described as its “best hit yet”.


The 40-square-kilometre Jupiter prospect lies within a total Brothers project area of 1165sq km and is part of the operation formerly known as Iron Duke.


Venture signed an earn-in joint venture (JV) deal at Brothers with Sentinel Exploration last year and currently holds a 70 per cent share after meeting its spending commitments of $500,000 within two years. It is now working on securing 90 per cent of the operation.


The company appears to be recording thicker and higher-grade intersections on a regular basis, making one wonder just how big its flagship project may become.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au



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