Caprice Resources has exercised its option to acquire a 90% stake in the Bantam Project, situated in the West Arunta region of Western Australia (WA).

A binding agreement was announced last month.

Caprice committed to a non-refundable option fee of A$30,000 ($20,000) to vendor HJH Nominees. It will pay A$1.03m at closing and A$1.1m in deferred consideration to secure the project.

The Bantam Project encompasses four contiguous tenements, comprising one granted exploration licence and three applications for exploration licences, covering an area of more than 1,470km².

This acquisition positions Caprice as the owner of the fourth-largest landholding in the West Arunta region, adjacent to WA1 Resources’ significant Luni Niobium-REE discovery.

The company’s due diligence included a comprehensive desktop review conducted by experienced geophysical consultancy Resource Potentials and Cadre Geological consultants.

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This review identified high-priority targets for future exploration based on geophysical trends and structures indicative of mineralisation similar to that found in neighbouring properties.

The success of peers including WA1, Encounter and Rincon Resources in the area has relied heavily on targeting geophysical features derived from a combination of magnetic and gravity surveys.

Caprice plans to employ similar strategies, utilising magnetics and gravity to refine targets for drilling.

It added that plans are already in motion to expedite exploration on the granted lease E80/5873 with detailed aeromagnetic surveys and on-ground assessments.

Activities on the pending licences will commence following their grant and successful heritage negotiations.

Additionally, Caprice is initiating an executive search for a new CEO to steer the company’s strategic direction as exploration intensifies.

Caprice chairman Glenn Whiddon said: “We are pleased to have concluded a comprehensive due diligence review, encompassing geological, geophysical, tenement and heritage considerations, which has culminated in the decision to exercise the option.

“This secures Caprice a commanding land position, the fourth-largest ASX [Australian Securities Exchange]-listed exposure, in this highly fertile and chronically underexplored region, which is being proven to host world-class discoveries.

“We look forward to commencing geophysical works upon our granted tenement and building our relationship with the local Kiwirrkurra community as we work through the appropriate heritage approvals process.”