The Avebury nickel mine in Tasmania recently made headlines after operations restarted for the first time since 2008.
Tasmanian regulatory bodies lifted Avebury’s care and maintenance status in May and mining operations recommenced soon thereafter, with the first development cuts drilled and blasted.
Mallee Resources reported that the change came after the required environmental bond was paid and the requisite operational plans were submitted.
Coinciding with the mine restart, Mallee said it planned to acquire 100 per cent of Allegiance Mining, the previous owner of the asset, through a deed of company arrangement (DOCA).
The deal is worth $85.9 million, which Mallee would pay through a combination of cash and shares, with a further $23.2 million to be reimbursed given the expenditure that’s already been incurred in Avebury’s development during the DOCA term.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia approved the transfer of shares between Allegiance and Mallee late last week, representing an important milestone in the latter’s acquisition attempt.
Mallee will also require the blessing of its shareholders for the acquisition to go ahead, with this to be determined at an extraordinary general meeting on June 29.
European Lithium made a late play to snatch Avebury from Mallee’s hands in May, but this has since been withdrawn given Mallee’s Supreme Court approval.
Mallee also entered into a binding agreement with Zebs Minerals and D&B Mining to acquire an exploration licence close to Avebury. This includes a Sandvik LH517 mine loader and “all the geological and mining data and information” held by the vendors in relation to both the Melba tenements and the Avebury nickel project.
Managing director and former Avebury general manager John Lamb said that, upon completion, the company would more than double its ground-holding in the highly mineralised Melba Flats area, a region known for high-grade mineralisation and small-scale historical mining.