Lykos Metals is following in the footsteps of popular project developer Adriatic Metals
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Bosnia & Herzegovina has not been a significant metal producer in the modern era, despite its mineral endowment.
Until recently, red hot $560m polymetallic project developer Adriatic Metals (ASX:ADT) was the only ASX explorer operating in the mineral-rich Balkans state.
Leveraging its first mover advantage, ADT has gained 1290% since listing in 2018.
Its lucrative ‘Vares’ silver project – with an outstanding post-tax IRR of 134% — is already at the pointy end of the development cycle.
Adriatic cofounder and Aussie-Bosnian national Milos Bosnjakovic is now back with his new play, Lykos Metals (ASX:LYK), which lists on the ASX today following a $12m IPO.
Bosnjakovic sifted through about 50 projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina with Lykos managing director Mladen Stevanovic and cherry-picked three of the best.
These polymetallic projects – Sockovac, Sinjakovo, and Cajnice — have a long history of mineral discovery and extraction but remain almost completely unexplored since the early 1970s.
Sockovac features old drilling results like 5.1m @ 6.63% nickel from 57m, and 23m at 1.31% nickel from 8.7m. They were never followed up because the old timers were looking for clay minerals to feed the local ceramics industry.
At Sinjakovo, historical accounts indicate that between 27,000t and 120,000t grading between 3-25% copper were mined. Material grading less than 3% copper was considered waste at the time and used to backfill tunnels or stockpiled at the portal.
Lykos also believes that there is potential for copper, lead and zinc deposits at Cajnice. Gold anomalism and elevated lithium-rare earths values also offer the potential for new discoveries.
It’s a proverbial buffet of mineralisation.
Stockhead talks to managing director Mladen Stevanovic about the company’s next steps.
“It is littered with metallic deposits, but the amount of investment is not as big as it should be,” Stevanovic says.
“[That’s because] there are no organised online systems like you have in Australia, where you can log in and see what ground is prospective and what is available.
“The other thing is that there has been very little exploration over there for the last 50-60 years. Once Yugoslavia started to stagnate economically, everything seized.
“So there has been quite a big hiatus, which means no modern exploration techniques and available internet system where you can search for this data.”
“That’s right. He is a co-founder of Adriatic Metals and a former director,” Stevanovic says.
“He is a well-known figure over there and in Australian mining.
“About a year ago we went through about 50 projects and pretty much cherry-picked these three projects.
“Adriatic Metals were [actually] competing with us for this ground.
“We have a network and connections to find the best people. We have also assembled a team that has top geologists. We are set up for good work.”
“Yes. The IPO went fantastic, it was heavily oversubscribed,” Stevanovic says.
“We only asked for $12m and that was capped. Now we are well funded to execute our exploration program.
“The original budget will last for two years, and with options getting exercised that will probably give us another additional year before we have to rattle the tin again.”
“The foundational work – geological mapping, surveying, and twinning of drill holes – should be done in the first six months,” Stevanovic says.
“Then we will go through the exercise of ranking our targets. Based on that exercise we will start building aggressively to a drilling campaign from month six onwards.
“We hope to have a JORC compliant resource by the end of year two, on at least one of these projects.”
“The company is well funded, and well led,” Stevanovic says.
“We have a management team that has experience working internationally but also in Bosnia.
“We have good connections with people over there to assemble the best possible. Investors would be hard-pressed to find a better management team for these projects.”