Erin Ventures Secures Promising Property Adjacent to Core Piskanja Project
For an aspiring international junior resource company, the Jarandol basin of Serbia is a promising location for operations. Within a relatively small geographical area, the basin hosts two advanced boron deposits, an operating coal mine, and a previously producing magnesite mine.
In addition, Serbia is highly regarded as a jurisdiction that supports mine development. It has abundant access to supporting infrastructure, along with a workforce of skilled miners.
These attractive circumstances prompted Erin Ventures Inc (CA:EV – $0.045 & US:ERVFF – $0.04 & GER:EKV1 – €0.02) to focus its activities in this district. In fact, its flagship asset, the Piskanja boron property, has been advancing as a legitimate prospect for the development of a new mine.
At Piskanja, Erin has already established an attractive boron deposit. Indicated resources of 7.8 million tonnes are currently defined with an average grade of 31% B2O3. A further 3.4 million tonnes with an average grade of 28.6% B2O3 has been calculated in the Inferred resource classification.
Boron is a critical component in a wide variety of industrial products. Worldwide demand for boron is projected to continue increasing and the spot price of the metal has been rising as a result. The outlook for Piskanja to support positive economics for a mining operation has placed greater emphasis on consolidation of land ownership in this historic mining district.
Additional Property Holdings Acquired in Core Operating Area
Erin now has reported that it has entered into an agreement to re-acquire an interest in the Jarandol Basin Exploration License. Spanning an area of nearly 21 square kilometers, this property represents a strategic addition to the Piskanja holdings. In accordance with Serbian mining regulations, the Exploration license is valid until February 2022. The license may then be extended for up to 8 years in total, subject to certain conditions. Exploration targets within Jarandol may offer the potential to increase the total boron resource leverage controlled by the Company.
While the presence of significant boron deposits on either side of Jarandol is certainly appealing, the exploration upside has already been validated through previous work completed on the property. Erin recognized the wider discovery potential in the basin several years ago and secured control of the Jarandol property as an underexplored opportunity.
In December 2015, the Company reported results from a drilling program that encountered high grade boron in multiple drill hole intervals. This was highlighted by a section of 41.31% boron across an interval of 1.88 meters. All eight of the drill holes completed during that program encountered borate values.
Despite the promising results from this work, in 2018 Erin was forced by necessity to relinquish its interest in Jarandol. The financial burden to continue advancing work at both Piskanja and Jarandol was prohibitive and therefore the Company opted to focus only on advancing the core Piskanja asset.
Attractive Exploration Property Holds Promise for Greater Resource Clout
Within the Jarandol basin, bedded mineral deposits were emplaced as the remnants of an ancient inland sea succumbed to evaporation. Erin developed its exploration model based on the regional geology of the basin. The Company may now begin targeting additional discovery zones in the near surface sedimentary horizons that extend beyond the resource zones within the Piskanja property boundary.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Jarandol is held by Kop Project, a Serbian mineral exploration company. Dusan Podunavac, a Director of Erin, is also a part owner of Kop Project. The two companies will participate with a third party investor to conduct exploration work at Jarandol. Erin has secured the right of first refusal to match any third-party offer to finance further work on the property.
In addition to the potential for new resource discovery, Erin has also been granted the right to access and use the property land position. This is of critical importance to extend the operating area for the core Piskanja project holdings. It will enable Erin a wider scope of geological research. Ultimately, the deal enhances options for a potential future mine development at Piskanja.
Under the terms of the new arrangement, Erin will have time to follow up with previous exploration ambitions for further resource discovery. The successful definition of new boron resource zones will build the economic potential for a mine. In addition, Erin will have access to a wider area of operations that may be required to improve infrastructure and operations related to its core Piskanja asset.
Meanwhile, the focus for the Company to advance economic studies, complete the next phase of permitting application, and optimize mine development plans, may continue unabated. The expansion to the core holdings secured through the acquisition has the potential to add shareholder value, but will not become a liability for the longer term development aspirations.
With the commitment to establish a producing boron mine in Serbia, Erin has delivered a win for shareholders with this acquisition agreement. Greater leverage is secured in this historic mining district. Erin is another step closer to achieving its overall objective to build a mine at Piskanja. Smallcaps Recommendation: BUY.
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