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Platina Resources has received US$8 million ($12.3 million) in cash from the sale of the Platina scandium project in New South Wales to a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto.

Platina may also receive future cash payments totalling US$6 million ($9.2 million) subject to Rio Tinto achieving certain project milestones including the granting of a mining lease.

“This acquisition supports our commitment to critical minerals and finding better ways to provide materials the world needs,” Rio Tinto minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said.

Platina managing director Corey Nolan said the sale of the scandium project finalised the company’s transition away from platinum and speciality metal projects to gold projects where it could apply considerable expertise and experience.

“A proportion of the funds will be directed towards exploration at the Company’s extensive gold portfolio in the Yilgarn Craton and Ashburton Basin in Western Australia,” he said.

Platina controls a 100 per cent interest in a portfolio of gold projects in the Yilgarn Craton and Ashburton Basin in Western Australia.

“Plans and clearances have been established for drilling three gold projects in calendar 2023,” he said.

“Additionally, we are well funded to continue exploring other more mature project opportunities that can be expanded through drilling and feasibility studies.”

The sale stipulates a less than US$1 million ($1.5 million) warranty retention payment which is re-payable by Rio Tinto after 30 months if there are no warranty breaches.

“The proceeds from the sale enables Platina to maintain its tight capital structure, providing an opportunity for significant share price upside leverage upon discovery success,” Nolan said.

Platina is an Australian-based company focused on advancing gold projects through exploration, feasibility and permitting towards development.

The company said it aims to leverage its technical expertise and experience to target finding gold deposits in excess of one million ounces in the Ashburton Basin and Yilgarn Craton regions of Western Australia.