Volt Resources Ltd (ASX:VRC) has acquired three licence applications in Serbia – Jadar North, Petlovaca and Ljig – that are considered prospective for lithium-borate mineralisation.
The transaction is part of Volt’s broader strategy to become a multi-commodity battery minerals company.
Volt is acquiring 100% of the issued share capital in Asena Investments doo Beograd-Stari grad, a Serbian company that holds the rights in relation to the three licence applications.
These applications cover 291 square kilometres in Serbia and are west and southwest of the capital, Belgrade, with the Jadar North licence application over ground adjacent to Rio’s world-class Jadar lithium-borate project.
Subject to the licence applications being granted, a Phase 1 drilling program is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2022 across all three licences.
Long-term growth opportunities
Volt chairman Asimwe Kabunga said: “The Asena transaction is an exciting opportunity for Volt to acquire lithium licences in highly prospective and under-explored areas in Serbia.
“The transaction forms part of a larger strategy to position Volt to become a multi-commodity battery minerals company, with projects focused on the two key minerals in the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market – lithium and graphite.
“With these assets located in Europe and relatively close to the USA market, Volt’s integrated battery minerals supply chain strategy continues to evolve and provides shareholders with significant long-term growth opportunities.”
In accordance with a share swap agreement between the company and the sole holder of Asena’s share capital, Ropa Investments (Gibraltar) Ltd, Volt has agreed to acquire all of the issued share capital in Asena.
Asena has made two of the licence applications – Jadar North and Ljig while the Petlovaca licence application is held by another Serbian entity, Edelweiss Mineral Exploration doo Beograd-Novi Beograd (EME), a company controlled by Ropa.
Subject to the Petlovaca licence being granted to EME, EME has agreed to transfer that licence to Asena.
Further, Asena will also transfer two unrelated licences to EME, which are not part of the acquisition.
Completion is scheduled to occur on or about December 17, 2021.
The consideration for the Arsena acquisition is the issue of 36,049,027 ordinary fully paid Volt shares, subject to various conditions precedent, including:
? Asena becoming the registered holder of, and Volt being satisfied in relation to certain matters concerning, the Jadar North, Ljig and Petlovaca licences;
? Asena ceasing to hold any interest in the Excluded Licence Applications;
? Volt becoming the sole holder of Asena’s share capital; and
? Volt’s shareholders approving the issue of the shares by February 17, 2022.
Volt will have the option to terminate the agreement if any of the Jadar North, Ljig or Petlovaca licences have not been granted on or before May 17, 2022.
Asena licence applications
Asena has applied for two licence applications – the Jadar North and Ljig licence applications – and has the right to acquire a third licence – the Petlovaca licence if an application made for that Petlovaca licence is granted.
Volt managing director Trevor Matthews added: “The Jadar North licence application neighbours Rio’s large world-class Jadar lithium-borate project.
“Limited exploration has already identified the presence of lithium and borate in the Jadar North licence application.
“The area the subject of the Petlovaca and Ljig licence applications provide further exploration potential for lithium and borate discoveries similar to Jadar North.
“Volt looks forward to the licence applications being granted and to completing phase one exploration drilling on the three licences to test the lithium and borate mineralisation potential during the course of 2022.”
The Jadar North licence application covers a low gravity field in the north of the Jadar basin on the Pannonian plain, extending 10-25 kilometres west of Sabac in northern Serbia.
If the Jadar North licence is granted to Asena, Rio Tinto and Asena alone will occupy 100% of the Jadar basin.
Asena has directly targeted the northern extent of the basin where Rio Tinto Ltd is developing the Jadar deposit (55.2 million tonnes of indicated resource at 1.68% lithium oxide and 17.9% boric oxide with an additional 84.1 million tonnes of inferred resource at 1.84% lithium oxide and 12.6% boric oxide).
The world’s second-largest miner in July 2021 committed US$2.4 billion to the Jadar lithium borates project, one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development.
Extensive surface geochemical sampling, ground magnetic and magnetotelluric surveys have been undertaken with limited drilling conducted to date.
Extrapolating from the nearby Jadar basin, gravity data indicates similar depths, thicknesses, environments and stratigraphic sequences.
The Petlovaca licence area remains undrilled to date.
There is a large area of mineralised basin sediments indicated by the nearby Valjevo borate deposit drilling.