Hancock buys into Mt Bevan

HANCOCK Prospecting-subsidiary Hancock Magnetite has been granted rights for a desktop study to assess potential nickel, lithium and copper deposits at the Mount Bevan iron ore project in Western Australia’s Central Yilgarn region, as part of a non-binding deed executed by joint venture partners Legacy Iron and Hawthorn Resources.

 Mt Bevan landscape

Mt Bevan landscape

India's Legacy Iron and WA explorer Hawthorn Resources were originally 60:40 JV partners in Mt Bevan, which boasts resources of 1170 million tonnes of magnetite grading 34.9% iron.

With favourable geometry, the orebody is seen as amenable to low-cost open pit mining, with potential for a high-quality magnetite concentrate with low impurities.

That premium-priced product could meet rising global demand for magnetite, which is vital for cleaner steelmaking.

Under the scope of an agreement forged in November 2021 Hancock paid $9 million for a 30% stake in Mt Bevan, with $4.8 million going to Legacy Iron and $3.2 million to Hawthorn.

The other $1 million was earmarked as working capital for the new JV.

This initial investment gave Hancock a 30% interest in the project, with Legacy Iron and Hawthorn holding 42% and 28% respectively.

Hancock will also fund a forthcoming pre-feasibility study, with Atlas appointed manager of the triparty JV.

As part of the JV and earn-in agreement, Hancock will up its stake to 51% once the PFS is complete, with Legacy Iron to hold 29.4% and Hawthorn 19.6%.

Hawthorn managing director Mark Kerr said there was significant momentum towards energy efficient technologies.

"Exploration for nickel, lithium and copper is imperative to facilitating these energy options," he said.

"Hawthorn Resources is delighted to expand our relationship with Hancock."

Legacy Iron CEO Rakesh Gupta said the world was rapidly introducing new forms of energy taht required vast quantities of nickel, lithium and copper.

He said the agreement further strengthened the working relationship between the Mt Bevan joint venture partners.

"We eagerly await the outcome of the desktop study being conducted by Hancock," he said.

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