A subsidiary of Australian mining company Venus Metals has reached a joint venture (JV) and farm-in deal with an IGO subsidiary to explore and potentially develop the Henderson nickel-lithium project in Western Australia.

IGO’s subsidiary will fund all the joint venture expenses solely until the pre-feasibility study of the project is completed.

According to the agreement, it can also progressively acquire up to 70% of the project.

IGO can incur up to A$4m in the project exploration and reimburse Venus by paying out A$1m.

After IGO completes the pre-feasibility study, it will gain the right to acquire Venus’s 30% stake in the project for a fair market value price after deducting an apportioned aggregation of its expenses incurred on the project.

The Henderson project covers 800km² in the central section of Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia.

It includes four granted tenements held by Venus, one of which is held jointly by Venus and the prospector with 90% and 10% stakes, respectively.

The project has a 25km strike length of the Mt Ida/Ularring Greenstone Belt.

Historically known for its gold and nickel, this Greenstone belt was recently recognised for its lithium after significant spodumene deposits were found near Mt Ida Gold Mine by Red Dirt Metals in 2021.

The new discovery is located 185km south of the Kathleen Valley Lithium Deposit and 240km north-west from the Mt Marion Lithium Mine near Kalgoorlie.

According to Red Dirt Metals, the project is claimed to have a mineral resource of 12.7 million tonnes at 1.2% Li₂O.

It recently unveiled a new discovery with a drill hole intercept of 90m at 0.95% Li₂O.

Venus Metals managing director Matthew Hogan said: “We are thrilled to have cemented a further arrangement with IGO Limited regarding nickel and lithium exploration at our Henderson Project in an emerging combined nickel and lithium province following the discovery of significant spodumene near the historical Mt Ida Gold Mine located directly north from the project.

“This follows a farm-in/JV and placement that occurred with IGO last year in relation to the Bridgetown-Greenbushes exploration project located next to the world-class Greenbushes Lithium Mine.”