Here come the new hunters for Serbian gold – Australian Strickland Metals buys mining project on mountain Rogozna

Source: eKapija Thursday, 18.04.2024. 12:49
(Photo: Africa Studio/shutterstock)
Strickland Metals has entered the “profitable Serbian gold game”, having set aside 37 million dollars for the purchase of the Rogozna project, which boasts an enormous resource of 5.44 million ounces of gold equivalent (around 170 tons), Australian media report.

The Australian giant Strickland Metals Limited is in the business of detecting world-class mineralized systems with a focus on gold and copper.

As the media report, Strickland Metals has already signed a binding sales and purchase agreement on the Rogozna gold project with ISIHC Ltd, a branch of Ibaera Capital Fund LP. The agreement entails the acquisition of the entire capital of Betoota Holdings Ltd, the owner of the company Zlatna Reka Resources, which owns the Rogozna project.

According to the media, the Rogozna project is located in the globally significant Tethyan Metallogenic Belt in Serbia and has excellent potential to become one of the biggest undeveloped gold sites in the world.

The project entails four exploration permits which cover around 184 square kilometers in the Trepca mining basin in the south of Serbia.

The mineral resource also encompasses 214,000 tons of copper and 364,000 tons of zinc, and also has a considerable additional exploration potential and possibilities of expanding the resources which are yet to be explored, including the very strong potential for a considerable mineralization of copper and gold porphyry.

“The perfect opportunity”

– We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of the large-scale, 5.44-million-ounce gold equivalent Rogozna Project – said the CEO of the Australian company, Andrew Bray.

He added that Strickland Metals had an exceptionally strong cash position for an exploration company and that Rogozna represented the perfect opportunity through which they could deliver substantial additional value for Strickland shareholders.

The total acquisition costs of around 37 million dollars will be secured primarily through the issue of company shares with an 18-month escrow period, and the first part of the sales and purchase price of 750,000 dollars has already been paid.

Upon the acquisition, the sales and purchase contract will enable the issue of slightly under 380 million shares at a price of 9 cents per share.

– We see the project as offering tremendous leverage to a rapidly improving gold price environment – Bray said.

Exploration boring plans

Upon the completion of the acquisition, Strickland intends to immediately undertake exploratory boring activities in each of the four defined sites, focusing on high-quality mineralization zones and new discoveries.

A 60,000-metre diamond drilling campaign will be carried out until the end of 2025 and the company intends to use at least three diamond rigs, with drilling of the primary targets in the Sanac, Medenovac, Gradina and Copper Canyon locations.

– In our view, the project has the potential to grow into one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits globally (with significant copper and zinc) – said Bray.

– The incredible upside that Rogozna offers, from an already impressive base, is something that is quite rare in this industry. In particular, the potential for significant copper-gold porphyry mineralization outside of the main prospect areas could be a tremendous bonus as exploration programs unfold – he added.

According to him, Serbia is a well-regulated, established mining jurisdiction, currently being the second-largest copper producer in Europe.

– Additionally, a number of global majors have significant Serbian projects, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Vale, Zijin Mining, Kinross Gold and Dundee Precious Metals – added Bray.

With the acquisition, the company will also make changes to its board and management team, which include the proposed appointment of Paul L’Herpiniere of Ibaera as managing director and Jon Hronsky, one of the leading geoscientists in Australia, as non-executive director upon the conclusion of the transaction. Andrew Bray will retire as CEO, but remain as a consultant.

– Both are very well acquainted with the project, having been closely involved in its development since 2019 – Bray said and added that the project also involved “an exceptional team” of 22 Serbian members.

“Enough precious metals for half of Europe”

Let us remind that, back in 2009, local media reported that experts from several foreign companies that had explored the Novi Pazar area claimed that the entire mountain Rogozna lay on copper, gold and silver and that there were enough precious metals there for half of Europe.

Before that, Rogozna was also explored by experts from Geozavod Belgrade, who detected reserves of around 40 million tons of copper, silver and gold ores in the locations of Medenovac and Karavansalija alone, as the Novosti daily reported at the time.

The percentage of metal in the ore ranges between 1.2% and 1.6%, which is higher than in Bor.

The story of Rogozna as a rich gold site was intensified in 2018 when the Ministry of Mining and Energy issued the first permit for mining explorations on the slopes of Rogozna to the company Zlatna reka.

B. P.

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