Avira sets its sights on copper and gold in Kenya

Avira Resources (ASX:AVW) has inked a deal with Goitom Mining to earn up to an 80% interest in the Meru Copper-Gold Project in central Kenya.

Located 250km north-east of Nairobi, the Meru Project covers 251km2 and is wholly owned by Goitom — a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Kenya in mid-2023, with a mandate to identify, acquire, and develop early-stage assets. 

Though the region is largely unexplored — to the extent that copper mineralisation was initially found not by geologists, but by local farmers — Avira says the geology is characterised by a series of gneisses, schists, quartzites, and crystalline limestones. 

Recent field work on-site included a single grab sample measuring 10.32% copper, 4.68 grams per tonne gold, and 2,090 parts per million nickel.

Under the terms of the earn-in agreement, Avira has agreed to pay Goitom US$10,000 (A$15,410) to secure a 90-day due diligence period, along with an upfront payment of US$40,000 based on the satisfaction of certain conditions.

Those conditions include the grant of a prospecting licence, the completion of due diligence activities, the receipt of all approvals required to proceed with the earn-in deal, and the completion by Avira of a capital raising.

According to this morning’s (24 April 2024) announcement, Avira is seeking to raise $530,000 by issuing roughly 530 million shares at $0.001 each. These shares will come with a one-for-two free attaching option, exercisable at $0.003 until 30 June, 2027.

Once those conditions have been met, Avira may earn a 60% in Goitom — the owner of the Meru Project — by completing 1km worth of trenching or drilling work within 12 months of the upfront payment, plus another 3.5km of drilling within 24 months.

A joint venture will then be formed, under which each party will contribute its relevant share of costs.

Avira may then earn an 80% interest by delivering a Definitive Feasibility Study.

Executive Director David Deloub says the earn-in agreement is consistent with Avira’s focus on acquiring early stage exploration assets in the base and battery metals space.

“We look forward to completion of due diligence investigations with our partners at Goitom,” he says.

Avira may withdraw from the agreement at any time without penalty, but will nevertheless be responsible for meeting minimum exploration commitments and maintaining the tenement in good standing.

With due diligence activities the first port of call, Avira says it intends to compile and assess previous data — including old maps, reports, sampling results, and geophysical data — and undertake its own mapping and sampling of the entire licence area.

Channel sampling across the length of the existing pit and rock chip sampling of any visible outcrops will be carried out, plus soil sampling along what is thought to be an east-west trend of the geology.

Although follow-up work is required, Avira says the project environment bears a “superficial resemblance” to the Okiep Copper District in South Africa, which over the last 150 years has produced more than 2 million tonnes of copper.

In a statement to the ASX, Avira said it “is of the opinion that Kenya remains largely under-explored, providing the company a first mover advantage to develop a strong in-country presence and capitalise off of early-stage projects”.

The company’s other projects include the Puolalaki Project in Sweden and the Paterson Range Project in Western Australia.

Write to Oliver Gray at Mining.com.au

Images: Avira Resources
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Written By Oliver Gray
Originally from Perth, Oliver has a keen interest long-form journalism. He has written for a number of publications and was most recently Contributing Editor of The Market Herald’s opinion section, Art of the Essay.