Westar Resources has signed an option agreement to acquire the Uley North Graphite Project in South Australia.

The project, known for its high prospectivity, is situated in an area with a history of substantial graphite mineralisation.

Under the agreed terms, Westar will pay $75,000 (A$116,319) for a three-month exclusive option to purchase Uley North. During this period, the company plans to conduct thorough due diligence and exploration activities to assess the project’s potential.

Should Westar decide to exercise the option, it will issue 30 million of its fully paid ordinary shares and 80 million performance rights.

These rights will convert to shares on a one-to-one basis upon achieving specific milestones within four years.

Of the 80 million performance rights, 28 million will vest when Westar announces samples of at least ten rock chips with a grade of 5% total graphitic carbon (TGC) or greater.

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The other 28 million performance rights will vest when Westar announces completion of an initial drilling programme of at least 20 drill-holes or 1,000m of drilling; and achieving five drill-holes at least 100m apart, with intercepts of at least 5m at 5% TGC or greater.

Under the agreement, 24 million performance rights will vest when Westar announces a mineral resource on any of the licences of five million tonnes or greater at a grade of >7.5% TGC or greater is announced.

The Uley North Graphite Project consists of two exploration licences covering 163km², which are fully owned by Astralis Resources.

The region is known for its Hutchison Group sedimentary host rocks, which are highly prospective for graphite and include resources from other notable mining companies.

Adjacent to Uley North lies Quantum Graphite’s historic Uley graphite mine, which contains Australia’s highest-grade flake graphite resource. The Mikkira Graphite Province, encompassing both the Uley Mine and Astralis Resources’ Southern Project tenure, is part of the area covered by the project.

The geological setting of Uley North is characterised by highly metamorphosed sediments and granitoids, with the presence of the Kalinjala Shear Zone, which may have facilitated graphite mineralisation.

Westar stated that initial assessments have identified several promising exploration targets.

As part of the due diligence phase, the company intends to review all historical exploration data and carry out geochemical and geophysical programmes.

These efforts aim to pave the way for exploratory drilling over the most promising targets, potentially confirming the project’s value and contributing to the region’s mining sector.

Westar executive director Lindsay Franker said: “Westar has commenced a detailed review of existing datasets and is currently undertaking ground truthing to obtain an understanding of the graphite potential of the Uley North Project, strategically located in one of the largest and most prolific coarse graphite provinces in the world.

“We are currently planning our exploration programmes and are considering detailed airborne EM Surveys that we expect will unlock the graphite mineralisation potential of the project.

“Graphite is listed as a critical mineral for the energy transition in Australia and we are excited to add this mineral to our existing portfolio.”