Graphite play Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT)­­ will secure a major stake in 800sqkm of coveted exploration ground neighbouring Stavely’s high-profile Thursday’s Gossan discovery in Victoria.

In September, the Stavely share price caught a rocket when the first hole in a new drilling program at Thursday’s Gossan assayed up to 40 per cent copper.

The stock is currently up 190 per cent over the past six months after giving back some of its initial gains.

Unlike Alkane Resources’ (ASX:ALK) equally exciting discovery at Boda a few weeks earlier — which saw numerous explorers flood into the East Lachlan region in NSW — the ground around Stavely was either locked up tight or unavailable.

Battery Minerals chairman David Flanagan says the Victorian government held a lot of this ground in a moratorium, releasing it chunk by chunk as part of a tender process.

“There wasn’t a whole bunch of vacant ground there – the government had resumed ownership of it,” he told Stockhead.

“The guys that we have acquired the project from — [privately owned] Gippsland Prospecting — won it in a tender process.”

This is prime real estate.

The ‘Block 4’ project, dotted with historic high-grade gold mines, is next door to ground held by Stavely and fellow cashed up explorer Navarre Minerals (ASX:NML). It is also just ~7km from the 5moz Stawell operation.

Block 4 is considered “highly prospective” for gold deposits like Stawell, as well as volcanic-hosted base metals mineralisation and large-scale Cadia Ridgeway-type porphyry copper mineralisation, Battery Minerals says.

The project was last drilled by BHP (ASX:BHP) back in in 1997 when the gold price was below $300/oz.

Flanagan says ~$9m market cap Battery Minerals beat out numerous offers for this ground, some of them from “fairly significant organisations”.

It helps that he worked with Gippsland director and experienced geo Kent Balas at Pilbara iron ore miner Atlas Iron years ago.

“He knows that our offer is genuine and that we want to get on the ground and develop a project,” Flanagan says.

“I just love those volcanics down there. I think there’s a real chance of making a big porphyry discovery.

“The Stavely discovery says that not only do those rocks have potential — but someone has actually found one, right next door.”

Battery Minerals — down 74 per cent over the past 12 months — is currently in a trading halt.


NOW READ: Explainer: Why are so many explorers chasing a porphyry payday?