Azure wins Craig Oliver Award

Company News

by Kristie Batten

Lithium takeover target Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) has been named as the recipient of the 2024 Craig Oliver Award.

The award, handed out this morning on day one of the 2024 RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, is in honour of mining executive Craig Oliver, who died in a plane crash in 2010.

His youngest daughter Sascha was on hand to present the award.

Azure beat out other nominees Genesis Minerals, Boss Energy and Santana Minerals.

Accepting the trophy, Azure managing director Tony Rovira pointed out that the award wasn’t for exploration or production but a true all-rounder award.

“I think Azure this year has certainly met the criteria,” he said.

Azure had been exploring in Mexico for many years but pivoted back to Western Australia in 2020 with the Andover nickel-copper project, a 60:40 joint venture with legendary prospector Mark Creasy.

“For a company to be successful, you need a vision,” Rovira said.

The vision switched to the lithium potential of Andover, and as they say, the rest is history.

Andover has an exploration target of 100-240 million tonnes at 1-1.5% lithium oxide, which, if realised, would make the deposit globally significant.

Previous winners of the Craig Oliver Award are OZ Minerals (2023), De Grey Mining (2022), Bellevue Gold and Chalice Mining (2021), Stavely Minerals (2020), MOD Resources (2019), Pilbara Minerals (2018), Evolution Mining (2017), Metals X (2016), Doray Minerals (2015), Northern Star Resources (2014), Sirius Resources (2013), Silver Lake Resources (2012) and Independence Group (now IGO, 2011).

OZ, MOD, Doray and Sirius have since been acquired, while Silver Lake is now merging with Red 5.

Azure is also subject to a A$1.7 billion takeover offer from Chile’s SQM and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

It’s rare for large companies to pounce on a pre-resource explorer but they clearly see Andover’s potential.

Azure reinforced that potential today by announcing new drilling results including 112.9m at 1.63% lithium oxide; 152.3m at 1.15% lithium oxide; and 106.1m at 1.3% lithium oxide.

A maiden resource estimate is due by mid-year.

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