Venus Metals Corporation Attracts Major Nickel And Lithium Miner IGO During June Quarter

A highlight for Venus Metals Corporation (ASX: VMC) during the June quarter was the announcement major miner IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) was farming into its Bridgetown Greenbushes project near the world-renowned Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia.
Under the deal, IGO can earn up to 70% of the Bridgetown Greenbushes project by spending $6 million on exploration and related joint venture expenditure until completion of a pre-feasibility study.
IGO also scooped up 9 million Venus shares at $0.23 each, which raised about $2.07 million before costs.
Venus managing director Matthew Hogan said the company was “delighted to welcome IGO as a substantial shareholder”.
“IGO’s knowledge and technical expertise regarding lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites and nickel-copper-PGE sulphide exploration, and development is invaluable for the highly prospective tenement package held by Venus at Bridgetown Greenbushes next to the world’s lowest cost and highest grade hard rock lithium mine.”
Youanmi base metals-REE project
During the June quarter, activities were underway at Venus’ Youanmi base metals-rare earth element (REE) project, which is 4km east of Ramelius Resources’ (ASX: RMS) Penny gold mine.
A 46-hole aircore drilling program was completed at the project, which tested geochemical anomalies.
REE was detected in several holes with a 3m interval containing a peak 3,770 parts per million lanthanum-plus-cerium-plus-yttrium.
Further analysis of anomalous intervals returned 1m at 7,355ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) plus yttrium.
This was within a 3m interval grading 4,600ppm TREO.
Venus is planning a follow-up drilling program to determine the extent of the REE mineralised zone.
The project also contains the Pincher prospect, which is prospective for zinc and copper.
A 13-hole for 2,500m reverse circulation program was started at the prospect in May and is targeting an anomaly where previous drilling uncovered 10m at 7.31% zinc from 52m, including 6m at 9.5% zinc from 55m.
Youanmi vanadium project
Venus owns 90% of the Youanmi project, which is 40km from the substantial Windimurra vanadium deposit.
Youanmi has a resource of 134.7 million tonnes at 0.34% vanadium, 6.27% titanium dioxide and 21.33% iron.
Metallurgical research in collaboration with WA’s Murdoch University has been underway on ore from the project for the past three years.
In May, Venus revealed grades of 1.07% vanadium and 65.3% iron were produced after testing various beneficiation options.
Venus noted the best extractions for vanadium and iron were obtained using low-temperature acid leach.
Further test work is planned, with all data gathered to-date to underpin the design and operation of a pilot plant study.
Henderson lithium project
Over in WA’s eastern goldfields, Venus has been advancing its Henderson lithium project.
During the June quarter, assays were received from a further 89 rock samples collected from the project.
From these rock chip samples, 29 returned grades exceeding 100ppm lithium.
Peak grades were 5.8% lithium and 3.6% lithium.
Venus completed a phase two RC program at the project in June, which comprised 31-holes for 2,834m.
Assays remain pending from this campaign.
Other REE potential
In addition to the Youanmi REE project, Venus is actively assessing the REE potential at its Marvel Lock East and Mangaroon North assets.
Marvel Loch East is 85km southeast of Southern Cross in WA and Venus recently completed a wide spaced rock and soil sampling program over the tenement.
A follow-up infill sampling program is now underway at the project.
Mangaroon North is within WA’s Gascoyne region and is adjacent to Dreadnought Resources (ASX: DRE) Mangaroon tenements, which contain the Yin REE prospect.
Upcoming work at Mangaroon North will include sourcing and processing spectral satellite data, followed by interpretation and target generation for field exploration programs.
Youanmi gold project
Venus’ most advanced asset is the Youanmi gold project in WA, which is held under varying joint venture agreements with Rox Resources (ASX: RXL).
Recent grade control drilling at the Grace deposit within the OYG JV tenements (Venus 30% and Rox 70%) demonstrated continuity of mineralisation.
It has de-risked the deposit further ahead of future commercialisation.
Notable results were 7m at 35.32 grams per tonne gold from 33m; 5m at 15.23g/t gold from 3m; and 5m at 14.29g/t gold from 41m.
The joint venture is looking at early development and cash flow opportunities at the project including mining the Grace deposit where mineralisation starts at surface.
Across the Youanmi gold project exploration is continuing in parallel with mining, feasibility and metallurgical studies.
Venus closed out the June quarter with $6.6 million in cash and investments – comprising $5.5 million in cash and about $1.1 million in ASX-listed shares.