PERTH (miningweekly.cm) – ASX-listed Independence Group (IGO) is still open to nickel, copper and cobalt acquisitions, MD and CEO Peter Bradford said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Diggers & Dealers conference, he said that the company would evaluate potential acquisition opportunities on a range of criteria, including commodities, jurisdiction, scale and mine life.
“If we think of what we have we have great lithium exposure that goes to 20 or 30 years, and we have some relatively short-term nickel, copper, cobalt exposure. So for us, automatically the intuition tells us we will supplement that rather than target more lithium, and that is where we are prioritising our efforts,” Bradford said.
However, he noted that a suitable acquisition opportunity could only emerge at a later date.
“Finding the right opportunity takes a long time, you just need to keep at it on an enduring basis, be ready, do the work, and when the right opportunity comes along you are able to look at it and bid on it. It could be tomorrow, next year or five years.”
IGO recently struck a A$45-million transaction agreement to acquire the Silver Knight nickel/copper/cobalt sulphide deposit, in Western Australia. The company entered into a binding agreement with entities owned and controlled by Mark Creasy to acquire the Silver Knight deposit and form a joint venture (JV) with Creasy Group over a portfolio of exploration tenements around Silver Knight.
IGO has a planned work programme to progress infill drilling at Silver Knight once the transaction is finalised, as well as progressing regulatory approvals and a Native Title mining agreement. Updated resource and reserve estimates are expected once this work is completed.
In parallel, IGO will continue the exploration of the new JV tenements around Silver Knight, which remain prospective for the discovery of Nova-style magmatic nickel/copper/cobalt sulphide deposits.
IGO recently also settled its A$1.9-billion JV with lithium producer Tianqi Lithium Corporation over its Australian lithium assets.
Under the terms of the JV agreement, IGO and Tianqi have formed a new globally focused lithium JV which is owned 49% by IGO and 51% by Tianqi, and which will be the exclusive vehicle for lithium investments outside China for IGO and Tianqi.
The JV will initially focus on the existing upstream and downstream lithium assets located in Western Australia, which comprise a 51% stake in the Greenbushes lithium mine and a 100% owned and operated interest in the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery.
Once commissioned, the Kwinana refinery will be the first fully automated lithium hydroxide refinery in Australia, producing battery grade lithium hydroxide from high quality spodumene concentrate from Greenbushes.