- Recently-relisted rare metals explorer eMetals (EMT) is buying the WA-based Poona Project from fellow ASX-listed Venus Metals
- The deal was announced last week, under which eMetals will take a full interest in one tenement in the area and a 90 per cent stake in another
- eMetals will pay $160,000 once the deal is settled, with future royalty and performance payments due based on production at Poona
- The company will also take over Venus’ current position in an existing joint venture over the E20/885 tenement
- According to eMetals, the area is home to several untested and underexplored pegmatites known to span more than a kilometre in length and 200 metres in width
- Shares in eMetals are trading grey today, currently worth 1.3 cents each
Recently-relisted rare metals explorer eMetals (EMT) has inked a deal to buy the WA-based Poona Project from fellow ASX-listed Venus Metals (VMC).
According to eMetals, the project holds extremely fractionated Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) type pegmatites, known to hold up to 0.31 per cent caesium and 1.33 per cent rubidium.
While lithium has been thrust into the spotlight recently as the battery metal set to power the future of electric vehicles, caesium and rubidium are perhaps less well-known. However, they still have some important uses.
Caesium is primarily used as a drilling fluid in high-pressure oil and gas drilling, and most mobile phones use a caesium clock to keep time. Rubidium, on the other hand, is currently used mostly for research and to make special types of glass. Regardless of the uses, however, both rare metals fetch a healthy price, generally more expensive on a gram-for-gram basis than gold.
“We’ve certainly been busy since relisting in January this year and the acquisition of the Poona Project adds further opportunity and excitement to the scheduled exploration activities at both the Poona Project and flagship Nardoo Rare Metals Project in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia,” eMetals Managing Director Mathew Walker said.
The Poona project consists of two major mineral tenements, dubbed E20/896 and E20/885. eMetals is buying up a full interest in the former and a 90 per cent interest in the latter.
How much did it cost?
The overall cost of eMetals’ Poona purchase is based on several future conditions, including performance payments and royalties to Venus.
Upfront, eMetals is out of pocket by $160,000 — $15,000 immediately, and the remaining $145,000 once the deal is settled.
The company will then owe Venus a 50-cent royalty per tonne of ore extracted from commercial mining at the E20/896 tenement. As for the other tenement, two royalties will be owed to historical explorers and prospectors over commercial mining from E20/885, making up a combined 1.5 per cent net smelter royalty.
On top of this, eMetals will owe Venus a $50,000 performance payment if it defines an inferred mineral resource of at least 200,000 tonnes of lithium oxide at one per cent at either tenement and will make another $50,000 payment if it can define a probable mineral ore reserve of at least 200,000 tonnes of lithium oxide at one per cent on either tenement.
eMetals will also take over Venus’ current position in an existing joint venture over the E20/885 tenement with Bruce Legendre.
Why the buy?
eMetals told shareholders last week the Poona Project is home to multiple untested and underexplored pegmatites known to span more than a kilometre in length and 200 metres in width.
The company said the WA area has been explored since the early 1900s, but modern exploration has focussed mostly on gold, nickel, and gemstones. Only recently has the area been explored for lithium and pegmatite associated mineralisation.
The Poona project itself has only been lightly explored, according to eMetals, with 42 holes drilled a the E20/885 tenement and no known drilling at E20/896.
Venus Metals revealed a 1.3-kilometre long by 300-metre wide pegmatite body at the Jackson’s Reward zone in the area in 2017, and rock chip samples from the pegmatite returned assays of up to 0.27 per cent lithium oxide and 768 parts-per-million of tantalum pentoxide.
Now, eMetals has started compiling the historical exploration data from Poona, with plans to start digging for caesium, rubidium, and lithium soon.
eMetals shares are trading grey today, currently worth 1.3 cents each in a $5.33 million market cap.