This low-cost acquisition of an extensive exploration portfolio from an international major gives Walkabout access to one of the most geologically diverse and relatively under explored regions.
The new acquisition will have no impact on Walkabout’s aggressive development timeline for its Lindi Graphite Project in Tanzania which is proceeding according to plan.
Trevor Benson, executive chairman, commented: “The opportunity to acquire such an extensive high quality exploration portfolio from a major such as Lonmin is indicative of our team’s significant international expertise to assess the geological potential and move quickly to capitalise on these rare opportunities.
“This acquisition further provides a platform for growth and diversification both geographically and in terms of commodities.”
Low-cost acquisition of an extensive portfolio
Walkabout has acquired 100% of Lonmin’s Northern Ireland exploration portfolio and assets for US$100,000 in two payments.
This includes the operating company Lonmin Northern Ireland Ltd and all exploration licences and applications held by it.
Walkabout will also own 50% of a joint venture for gold in the highly prospective “Dalradian Gold Belt” with Koza UK Ltd.
It is worth noting that more than US$7 million has been expended on Lonmin’s Northern Ireland portfolio to date.
Walkabout will pay Lonmin a 2% net smelter return on minerals and metals extracted from the licences.
“Ready to go” exploration projects
The Northern Ireland exploration portfolio provides “ready to go” exploration projects and assets with significant upside potential in minerals such as gold, lithium and base metals.
In 2008, Lonmin targeted Northern Ireland as one of the most geologically diverse regions capable of hosting platinum group metal (PGM), and base metals mineralisation.
Lonmin has used airborne geophysics and soil analysis to identify prospective areas for PGM, base metals and gold covering circa 1000 square kilometres.
The mineral prospecting licenses are located along the same major structure hosting a number of significant high grade gold deposits in Northern Ireland - the “Dalradian Gold Belt”.
Lonmin made a gold discovery while following up on a deep gravity target in search for PGM’s, where 5.6 g/t gold was intersected.
With Lonmin’s primary focus on PGM exploration, the gold rights within the licenses were farmed out into an earn-in JV with Koza UK.
At this time, Koza holds 50% of the gold rights under the JV and Walkabout holds the remaining 50% as the vendor party.
Lithium, gold and base metals exploration underway
Lonmin has amassed an extensive exploration database within Northern Ireland which includes the detailed analysis of thousands of rock, bedrock, drill core and soil samples.
Walkabout considers this database to be of immense value as it enables the company to rapidly evaluate target commodities that were not necessarily the focus of previous exploration drives.
Independent geological targeting for selected minerals including lithium, gold and base metals is currently under way.