Apollo Minerals to Acquire Belgrade Copper Project with Significant Exploration Potential

Apollo Minerals to Acquire Belgrade Copper Project with Significant Exploration Potential

Apollo Minerals is in the process of acquiring the Belgrade copper project in Serbia, a project that holds the potential for world-class sedimentary-hosted copper deposits.

Belgrade’s Studena, Donja Mutnica, and Kopajska Reka prospects were originally part of Reservoir Minerals’ Serbian assets before they were acquired by Nevsun Resources in 2016 for US$365 million and subsequently by Zijin Mining in 2018 for US$1.4 billion. However, Reservoir had shifted its focus to the Cukaru Peki copper deposits at Bor in Serbia, relegating these assets to the background.

Cukaru Peki, now a massive and long-lasting copper mine, produced 111,000 tons of copper and 152,000 ounces of gold in 2022, with a potential peak output of 135,000 tons per annum of copper and 215,000 ounces per annum of gold.

Apollo Minerals (ASX:AON) believes that the Belgrade copper project offers the potential for a similar tier 1 discovery in the region.

Apollo’s Managing Director, Neil Inwood, stated, “The Belgrade copper project has a compelling exploration thesis that the team is extremely excited to test. Serbia is currently Europe’s second-largest copper producer, and I am convinced there are world-class sedimentary-hosted copper discoveries to be made in the region.”

World-class Copper Targets

The project, spanning 202 square kilometers, includes four licenses: Studena, Donja Mutnica, Lisa, and Kopajska Reka. It is located in the prolific Carpatho-Balkanian Metallogenic Province (CBMP), which also hosts the Bor and Cukaru Peki deposits.

Apollo believes there is significant potential for major discoveries of world-class sedimentary-hosted copper mineralization, akin to the ‘Kupferschiefer style’ in Poland, Europe’s largest copper producer.

According to studies, Kupferschiefer-type sediment-hosted deposits have an average size of around 34 million tons with a median copper grade of 1.5%, but they can be much larger. Apollo intends to focus on exploring this potential initially.

Belgrade presents over 70 kilometers of untested prospective contacts, with historical surface rock chip samples showing exceptional values of up to 20% copper and 1,540 parts per million (ppm) silver. Recent rock chip sampling by Apollo also returned values of up to 6.5% copper and 155 ppm silver.

Exploration is still in its early stages at Belgrade, despite its promising prospects and proximity to tier 1 mines.

Acquisition Terms

Apollo Minerals is acquiring Edelweiss Mineral Exploration, the owner of the Belgrade project, for 30 million AON shares, along with 10 million unlisted options exercisable at 5 cents, expiring three years from the issue date, and another 10 million unlisted options exercisable at 7.5 cents, also expiring three years from the issue date.

Additionally, Apollo will issue an additional 20 million AON shares should it define a JORC-compliant resource of 12 million tons grading 2% copper or its equivalent within five years of completing the acquisition. The vendor will also be granted a 2% net smelter royalty on future production from Edelweiss over the licenses and license applications.

As part of the acquisition, the company also obtained the Lisa license application, which holds potential for gold and antimony mineralization.

Future Work

Apollo Minerals’ future work programs at the Belgrade copper project will focus on developing drill-ready targets. Planned activities include detailed soil analysis to cover the main Permian red-bed/limestone contact regions and over red-bed sandstone units, trenching over identified anomaly regions, airborne magnetic surveys, target generation, and, subject to results from the aforementioned activities, drilling.

Neil Inwood added, “This acquisition complements our existing zinc-lead base metals focus in Gabon, while presenting a positive diversification into copper. With minimal dilution to existing shareholders and a compelling copper prospect in a favorable jurisdiction, the proposed Edelweiss acquisition demonstrates our focus on value creation through acquisition, exploration, and discovery.”

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