Australian mining company Octava Minerals has reached a binding but conditional deal to acquire 100% of the shares in Byro Mining.

The acquisition will give Octava control over the Byro REE & Lithium Project in Western Australia’s (WA) Gascoyne Region.

The project comprises two granted exploration licences, namely E 09/2673 and E 09/2674, covering an area of 798km².

The Byro Project, which is situated on the Byro Plains, is considered strategic due to its proximity to essential infrastructure.

This includes a commercial port in Geraldton and power from the Northwest gas pipeline, along with potential future access to green energy sites proposed by the WA Government.

As part of the acquisition terms, Octava will have the opportunity to access the project site before the completion of the purchase.

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This access is intended for conducting due diligence, exploration and geological test work. The Byro Project also benefits from having Native Title agreements already in place, which can facilitate smoother project development.

Octava’s focus on new energy metals such as lithium, nickel, platinum group metals (PGMs) and gold.

The acquisition is expected to enhance Octava’s portfolio in the sector, which is increasingly driven by demand for materials used in new energy technologies.

Octava Minerals managing director Bevan Wakelam said: “We are pleased to have secured an agreement to acquire this project. Previous work has identified the Permian black shales of the Byro sub basin to be metalliferous, with anomalous REE [rare earth elements] and lithium that is laterally extensive and over large thicknesses in historic drilling.

“With a low-cost entry point into this highly prospective project, Octava will investigate the potential for Australia’s first, large-scale sedimentary deposit of REE and lithium.

“Metal extraction from black shales is a proven, low-cost technology and we will immediately get to work on material characterisation and initial mineral extraction test work and further drilling.”