Ivernia Inc. and Prairie Downs Pty. Ltd. have agreed to form a joint-venture to explore Prairie Downs’ lead-zinc project in Western Australia. Previous drilling at the project, located 250 km north of Ivernia’s flagship Magellan lead mine, has focused only on the known resource, with limited work on other deposits in the belt or on associated mineralization. The project has a current estimated indicated resource of 2.3 million mt grading 5.2% zinc, 1.6% lead, and 15 g/mt silver and a current estimated inferred resource of 0.7 million mt grading 4% zinc, 1.6% lead, 15 g/mt silver.

Under the joint-venture agreement, Ivernia has committed to an immediate initial A$2-million exploration program of infill sampling and drilling. This program will test a number of geological, geochemical, and geophysical targets in the vicinity of known deposits. The agreement includes an option in favor of Ivernia to purchase a 60% interest in the project for A$10 million in cash or Ivernia shares.

Upon purchase by Ivernia of a 60% interest in the project, an unincorporated joint venture would be formed between Ivernia and Prairie Downs. Ivernia could increase this interest to 80% by spending a further A$5 million on exploration within two years of earning the initial 60% interest.