Gold Fields widens reach to ground around Lefroy lake - Albany Advertiser
South African gold giant Gold Fields has put its foot on ground held by junior Lefroy Exploration in a $25 million farm-in deal in a bid to expand its exploration push across from its 10 million ounce St Ives operations near Kambalda.
Gold Fields is spending more than $35 million exploring around the 350,000 ounce-a-year St Ives complex this year, but its activities are increasingly stretching east onto untapped ground on the Lefroy salt lake.
Much of that ground has been locked by Lefroy, which holds 577sqkm of prospective tenements immediately east of St Ives.
Gold Fields has agreed to tip at least $4 million into exploration on Lefroy’s western tenements, covering 372sqkm including the Zanex prospect, over the next two years before it can withdraw and can earn a 51 per cent stake in the project by spending $10m over three years.
If it spends a further $15 million before six years after the signing of the agreement Gold Fields can earn a 70 per cent stake.
Lefroy boss Wade Johnson said it freed the explorer to commit more funds to drilling at its Lucky Strike target near Silver Lake Resources’ Mt Monger operations.
“It’s a big parcel of land and I guess it’s the first time a company has really put this portfolio of land together as one big package,” he said.
“We’ve had success recently at Lucky Strike, where we’re getting some high-grade intervals out there.
“Gold Fields are funding the exploration on the western side of our project out there, whilst we can concentrate on the eastern side.
“It all comes down to accelerating exploration on the whole portfolio and making that discovery faster.”
Lefroy shares slid 17.5 per cent, or 3.5¢, to 16.5¢ on Friday after making the announcement late on Thursday.
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