Australian company Develop has concluded the takeover of the Woodlawn zinc-copper project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, from mining firm Heron Resources.

As part of the deal signed earlier this year, Develop paid $21.3m (A$30m) upfront, comprising A$15m in cash and 4,782,859 in fully paid ordinary Develop shares.

The Woodlawn underground mine and processing plant was placed into care and maintenance in 2020.

Prior to that, the project was redeveloped with a A$340m investment by Heron Resources.

Heron was placed in administration in July 2021.

Develop managing director Bill Beament called the acquisition of the Woodlawn project a ‘pivotal point’ in its growth strategy.

Beament said: “This is an outstanding deal, which has delivered Develop a world-scale project complete with an underground mine and processing infrastructure.

“We have used the three months since we agreed the purchase to devise a full exploration strategy with the aim of converting Inferred Resources, extending the mineralised lenses, which we know are open at depth, and drill testing the EM conductors identified by leading consultants NewExco.”

Develop is now planning to undertake exploration strategy for the Woodlawn project to convert inferred resources to indicated to extend the mineralised lenses at depth.

Preparations are already underway for an exploration decline and underground drilling programme at the project.

Furthermore, Develop reimbursed A$500,000 to Orion relating to Woodlawn project care and maintenance costs incurred by the latter.

In accordance with the co-operation deed signed with Orion, Develop also agreed on success-driven milestone-related payments of up to A$70m in cash or shares to Orion.