Elkhorn open cut mine at Custer project. Source: IRIS Metals
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  • IRIS Metals (IR1) is acquiring White Rock and its South Dakota lithium project in the US
  • White Rock owns 525 lode claims, comprising the Dewy and Custer sub-projects, within the mining friendly jurisdiction of South Dakota
  • IRIS says the purchase aligns with its strategy of diversifying and expanding its portfolio outside of WA, mitigating commodity risk and creating shareholder value
  • The acquisition will be funded via a $2 million placement which will also support exploration work at the projects
  • Company shares last traded at 63 cents on January 5, IRIS’ shares are in voluntary suspension which it previously reported was regarding an acquisition

IRIS Metals (IR1) has entered a share sale agreement to acquire White Rock and its hard rock lithium projects.

White Rock owns 525 lode claims covering about 10,846 acres in the mining friendly jurisdiction of South Dakota which reportedly has a 145-year history of continuous mining.

Overall, the 525 lode claims make up the “South Dakota Project” which has been divided into two sub-projects known as the Dewy and Custer projects.

The Dewy Project consists of 250 lode claims and covers an area of 5165 acres containing prospective lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT)-pegmatites.

The Custer Project comprises 275 lode claims and covers an area of approximately 5681 acres which also hosts prospective LCT-pegmatites. The pegmatites occur in a north-south corridor which contains many historic lithium mines.

IRIS considers the acquisition to be a strategic way to diversify its portfolio as its current assets include the Kookynie and Leonora projects which are both located in WA. The company also said the purchase would increase shareholder value and mitigate commodity risk.

“After methodically assessing numerous projects to complement our suite of Australian assets, the Board has achieved an agreement that has met its key investment criteria of geographic and commodity diversification in a mining friendly jurisdiction,” Executive Director Tal Paneth said.

“The acquisition of the highly prospective hard rock lithium South Dakota project sees IRIS join the green battery revolution at a time when the US President has recently enacted legislation to encourage domestic lithium production,” Mr Paneth added.

To acquire White Rock and the South Dakota project, IRIS Metals will pay US$100,000 (A$140,572) in cash over two equal instalments with one payment already satisfied.

Additional terms include IRIS issuing White Rocks four million new shares which will be escrowed for two years from the issue date. The company will also grant White Rock a net smelter return royalty of 1.25 per cent.

Further, IRIS entered a consulting agreement with RLL Consulting who’ll be appointed as IRIS’ South Dakota-based manager. RLL will assist with progressing the South Dakota project and will be on an annual retainer of US$100,000.

To fund the acquisition and subsequent exploration, IRIS Metals is raising $2 million through a placement. The company will issue five million shares priced at 40 cents each.

Initial exploration across the Dewy and Custer sub-projects will include mapping, and soil and rock chip sampling to determine the priority targets for drill testing.

Company shares last traded at 63 cents on January 5. IRIS’ shares are in voluntary suspension which it previously reported was regarding an acquisition.

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