OceanaGold US Holdings has signed an earn-in agreement regarding American Pacific Mining (APM)’s Tuscarora Gold Project in Nevada, US.

The property comprises 91 claims covering 1,818 acres within the Tuscarora Mining District in Elko County.

Under the agreement, OceanaGold will invest $4m over the next four years as part of Phase I to earn up to 51% of the gold project.

“This announcement adds excitement to the project and the company as we enter a new exploration season.”

The company will thereafter have 60 days during Phase II to exercise an option for an additional 24% by investing another $6m over the following four years.

APM CEO Warwick Smith said: “This announcement adds excitement to the project and the company as we enter a new exploration season.

“OceanaGold is the perfect partner in our eyes, especially with the success they have had at Waihi in New Zealand – a similar high-grade epithermal system.”

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OceanaGold will initially make a $50,000 cash payment to APM and $200,000 in cash or shares after earning a 51% interest in the property.

OceanaGold will also process all payments to holders of underlying property interests and pay claim fees.

The company will serve as the operator of the Tuscarora Gold Project. A joint venture management committee will be formed upon earning-in an interest.

APM president Eric Saderholm said: “Nevada is the top investor-friendly jurisdiction for mining, and I look forward to working alongside the OceanaGold team as we move this gold discovery ahead at Tuscarora.”

Last April, APM started a gravity survey at the Tuscarora Gold Project to cover a total of 1,818 acres of space.