ENERGY MINERALS

North American fund backs Larvotto greenfields exploration

LARVOTTO Resources has just secured funding to dramatically accelerate work in its Eyre project in Western Australia with the backing of two North American investors.

Eyre is easy to explore, Heeks says

Eyre is easy to explore, Heeks says

Larvotto, which listed in December, acquired the ground near Norseman from Ardea Resources, and has largely been focused on its copper ground near Mt Isa, with just a thimble full of funding for the greenfield Eyre project.
 
It's an early stage patch of dirt that is still in the initial stages of exploration.
 
"We're only at the geochemistry stage, but it has allowed us to find some nickel, rare earth and lithium anomalies, but we hadn't allocated a lot towards it," managing director Ron Heeks told MNN this morning.
 
That's changed with Canadian-based Lithium Royalty Corporation and Waratah Capital's Electrification and Decarbonisation Fund signing a binding three-step deal for A$3.4 million in funding.
 
Waratah manages over C$4 billion in assets and is the founding sponsor of LRC, which is already an investor in Allkem, Core Lithium and Sayona Mining.
 
The pair will take a A$2 million equity stake in Larvotto at 18c per share, with Waratah putting in $1.8 million.
 
LRC will separately put in $1.4 million for a 1% gross revenue royalty over lithium and all other pegmatite materials and as consideration for a 20% life of mine offtake investment.
 
Larvotto has only just announced the results of its initial targeting, but the early results have shown the area "has a lot going on" with lithium, rare earth, and nickel potential. 
 
Heeks said Larvotto had been talking with a "wide range of parties" about funding options when it was approached by Waratah and LRC.
 
"We haven't had to issue a lot of paper at a steep discount, and the royalty game has changed quite a bit," he said.
 
"It's a different market now, more aggressive. I don't think I'd have done a gold royalty deal, but for lithium this is brilliant as far as I am concerned."
 
He said having a substantial North American institutional presence on the register was a huge vote of confidence in the early stage asset.
 
The 690sq.km Eyre project is considered underexplored, but is adjacent to Liontown Resources' Buldania project.
 
Recent soil geochemistry results and surface mapping completed by Larvotto flagged several anomalous lithium zones.
 
Heeks said the cash would help Larvotto accelerate planned RAB or RC drilling of the main Merivale prospect, and work across Eyre in general.
 
Merivale is "exactly the same as Buldania" and contains outcropping pegmatite within a 4km-long geochemical anomaly with peak values of 126 parts per million.
 
"We didn't have a budget allocation for drilling, so this allows us to do multiple things, and take this off the slow burner."
 
Eyre also contains two distinct REE anomalies, one of which is also at Merivale. Peak values of 1693ppm total rare earth oxide have been noted in the 1.8km-long Southern anomaly, which sits within the Albany Fraser Belt. 
 
The project also contains the Jimberlana Dyke that is considered to be analogous to the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe. 
 
Recent geophysical surveys have helped confirm the Mt Norcott nickel-copper prospect, which is co-incident with a large soil anomaly.
 
Heeks said being right next to the highway, and close to the train link to Esperance port, meant discoveries in Eyre need not be that big.
 
The area's potential has been highlighted by recent sulphide drilling by the likes of Dundas Minerals and Galileo Mining, but has long been overlooked.
 
The most extensive exploration of the grassroots province was by AngloGold Ashanti, which was looking for the next Tropicana gold deposit a decade ago.
 
"They completed a massive auger program and analysed for a wide suite of minerals. They didn't find gold and are gone now, but a lot of what companies like us are doing is following up what they did," he said.
 
Shareholders will need to approve the equity portion of the deal at a meeting in November. 
 
Larvotto shares, which have traded at 10.5-55c over the past year were up more than 30% today to 27c, valuing it at $15 million.

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