Bosnia and Herzegovina has not been a major producer of metals in the modern era, despite its mineral wealth.
Until recently, Adriatic Metals (ASX: ADT), developer of $ 560 million polymetallic projects, was the only ASX explorer operating in the mineral-rich Balkan state.
Leveraging its first-mover advantage, ADT has gained 1290% since listing in 2018.
Its lucrative ‘Vares’ money project – with an exceptional after-tax IRR of 134% – is already at the sharp end of the development cycle.
Adriatic co-founder and Australian-Bosnian national Milos Bosnjakovic is now back with his new play, Lykos Metals (ASX: LYK), which is listed on ASX today after a $ 12 million IPO.
Bosnjakovic sifted through around 50 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Lykos general manager Mladen Stevanovic and selected three of the best.
These polymetallic projects – Sockovac, Sinjakovo and Cajnice – have a long history of finding and extracting minerals, but have remained almost completely unexplored since the early 1970s.
Sockovac presents old drilling results such as 5.1m at 6.63% nickel from 57m and 23m at 1.31% nickel from 8.7m. They were never followed as the ancients searched for clay minerals to fuel the local ceramic industry.
At Sinjakovo, historical accounts indicate that between 27,000 t and 120,000 t grading between 3 and 25% copper were mined. Materials grading less than 3% copper were considered waste at the time and used to backfill tunnels or stored at the gate.
Lykos also believes that there is potential for copper, lead and zinc deposits in Cajnice. The gold anomaly and high lithium and rare earth values ââalso offer potential for new discoveries.
It’s a proverbial buffet of mineralization.
Storer talks to Managing Director Mladen Stevanovic about the next steps for the company.
Bosnia and Herzegovina appears to be rich in minerals, but under-explored. Is the geology of the country not well known enough?
“It is littered with metal deposits, but the amount of investment is not as large as it should be,” says Stevanovic.
“[Thatâs because] there are no organized online systems like you in Australia where you can log in and see what land is potential and what is available.
âThe other thing is that there has been very little exploration there in the last 50 to 60 years. Once Yugoslavia started to stagnate economically, everything flew away.
“So there has been quite a big disruption, which means there is no modern exploration and Internet system available where you can search for this data.”
Milos’ involvement in the business must be positive for Lykos as he is so firmly established in the local mining sector.
âThat’s right. He is a co-founder of Adriatic Metals and a former director,â Stevanovic said.
âHe’s a well-known figure there and in the Australian mining industry.
âAbout a year ago, we carried out about 50 projects and chose roughly these three projects.
“The metals of the Adriatic were [actually] compete with us for this land.
âWe have a network and connections to find the best people. We have also assembled a team of the best geologists. We are ready to do a good job.
Did you end up oversubscribing?
âYes. The IPO went fantastically, it was heavily oversubscribed,â Stevanovic says.
âWe only asked for $ 12 million and it was capped. We are now well funded to run our exploration program.
“The initial budget will last for two years, and with options exercised, that will probably give us another extra year before we have to shake the tin again.”
Do you have any important milestones that you would like to achieve in the first 12 months?
âThe basic work – geologic mapping, surveying and borehole twinning – should be done within the first six months,â Stevanovic says.
âThen we will do the exercise of ranking our targets. Based on this exercise, we will start aggressively building a drilling campaign from month six.
“We hope to have a JORC compliant resource by the end of year two, on at least one of these projects.”
In short, why should investors take a closer look at the company?
âThe business is well funded and well run,â says Stevanovic.
âWe have a management team that has international experience but also in Bosnia.
âWe have a good relationship with the people there to put it together as best as possible. Investors would be hard pressed to find a better management team for these projects.