Australian mining company Maximus Resources has entered agreements with Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources (KOMIR) and LG Energy Solution, for its Lefroy lithium project in Western Australia.

As per the farm-in agreement, South Korean agency KOMIR will provide A$4.8m ($3m) to conduct lithium exploration at the Lefroy project, which is 25km from Kambalda in Western Australia.

In return for the funding, KOMIR will earn a 30% stake in the joint venture across the company’s lithium project.

Maximus will retain the remaining 70% interest in the project at the end of the farm-in period.

KOMIR also agreed to pay A$320,000 ($200,000) as a non-refundable deposit to immediately begin the lithium exploration programme.

It must provide a minimum funding of A$1.6m ($1m) in the first 12 months before choosing to withdraw from the agreement. If it withdraws, all rights on the project will return to Maximus.

Besides, Maximus signed a separate non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LG Energy Solution, for an option to acquire KOMIR’s 30% interest in the joint venture.

If LG acquires the stake in the project, it will also earn the right to negotiate to buy 70% of the project’s lithium production.

Maximus managing director Tim Wither said: “We are very excited to commence working with KOMIR in advancing the company’s highly prospective Lefroy lithium project. This is a significant partnership for the company and is a strong endorsement of our lithium prospects with the backing from the Korean Government agency KOMIR.”

“The strategic partnership allows Maximus to draw on KOMIR’s international expertise, and industry partnerships with the world’s largest EV battery manufacturers, to support future project development, production, and marketing.”

KOMIR is owned by the South Korean Government and was founded to support sustainable mining development and promote a stable supply of critical minerals to the Korean market.

It will offer full-stream integrated services that range from financial services to resource exploration, development, production, and post-mining rehabilitation support.

Located within Maximus’ other tenements at Spargoville in Western Australia, the Lefroy lithium project hosts pegmatite with assays up to 2.7% of lithium oxide (Li₂O), 4,170ppm of Caesium (Cs) and 17,250ppm Rubidium (Rb).