Maximus Resources has confirmed that the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) granted a no objection notification for the proposed joint venture (JV) with Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources (KOMIR).

The FIRB’s no objection notification was issued without conditions under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth).

The permit paves the way for KOMIR to acquire a 30% stake in the Lefroy Lithium Project in the Eastern Goldfields in WA.

KOMIR is a South Korean Government-owned entity and is set to invest A$4.5m ($3m) in lithium exploration to earn its 30% interest in the JV.

The Lefroy Lithium Project, located near other significant lithium operations, is part of Maximus’ diversified portfolio in the Kambalda region, which includes more than 335,000oz of gold resources.

This investment will support the second phase drill programme at the Lefroy Lithium Project. Maximus will remain the project manager and retain a 70% interest post the earn-in period.

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Additionally, Maximus signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with LG Energy Solution, which could potentially lead to the acquisition of KOMIR’s stake and negotiations over a significant portion of the project’s future lithium output.

The upcoming drill programme will aim to expand the spodumene-bearing pegmatite intersections at Kandui Prospect and explore new targets at Yilma and Landor.

The company is also awaiting assay results from its recent soil sampling programmes, which are expected to identify further drilling targets within the Lefroy tenement.

Maximus managing director Tim Wither said: “Receiving FIRB approval is an important milestone for the strategic lithium partnership, allowing the company to progress the Lefroy Lithium Project, fully supported with KOMIR’s $3m investment.

“We have made some significant progress during the FIRB review process, utilising a $200,000 non-refundable deposit to build our geological understanding and identifying some very promising prospective targets at Kandui, Yilmia and Landor through the first-phase soil geochemistry mapping and a successful initial 3,000m RC [reverse circulation] drill programme.

“In November 2023, we successfully intersected several shallow high-grade spodumene-bearing pegmatites at our Kandui prospect, which will be the focus for the upcoming drill programme, whilst drill testing the Yilmia and Landor Prospects.”