Anax Metals has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Greentech Metals to evaluate potential collaboration on copper-focused base metal assets in Western Australia (WA).

The non-binding and non-exclusive MOU outlines the terms for assessing the treatment of Greentech’s base metal assets, with a focus on the open-pittable Whundo deposit, at the fully permitted Whim Creek processing hub, which is majority owned by Anax.

Located in WA’s West Pilbara region, Whim Creek is situated 115km south-west of Port Hedland and 100km north-east of Greentech’s Whundo deposit, which lies 40km south of Karratha.

Under the MOU, each company will contribute resources and information to the joint assessment, which will focus on technical studies and regulatory approvals at Whundo.

Furthermore, the two companies are setting up a Pilbara Base Metal Alliance, which will include base metal explorers looking to monetise assets that are within trucking distance of Whim Creek.

Anax owns an 80% stake in the proposed Whim Creek Project while the remaining 20% stake in held by Develop Global.

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The project includes plans for a new 400,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) concentrator and a refurbished heap leach facility.

It is expected to support production of up to 30,000tpa of copper equivalent, across a mine life of more than ten years.

Together, Whundo and Whim Creek will have a measured, indicated and inferred resource base of 17.2 million tonnes with 185,000t of contained copper and 256,000t of contained zinc.

The inclusion of Whundo is anticipated to increase Whim Creek’s open-pit mine life.

It is also expected to offer various other benefits such as more favourable funding and offtake terms, a decrease in fixed costs, operational efficiencies and a reduction in environmental footprint through the use of a single processing facility.

The companies have signed a non-disclosure agreement and begun the assessment process for the collaboration.

GreenTech executive director Tom Reddicliffe said: “This is a great opportunity for GreenTech that could see a formalised Alliance with Anax taking significant steps towards establishing near-term mining operations at our Whundo Project.

“Our project already has defined open-pittable copper and zinc resources and potential to define additional near-surface resource tonnes at both Yannery and Ayshia.

“The alliance could be the catalyst that the West Pilbara needs to become a significant copper producer and we look forward to working closely with Anax to make this a reality.”

Last year, Anax Metals received approval for the stage two mining proposal for the Whim Creek project.