ArcWest and Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada have signed an agreement to advance the development of the former’s Todd Creek copper-gold project in Canada.

Located in British Columbia (BC)’s Golden Triangle, the Todd Creek project adjoins Newcrest Mining’s Brucejack mine property. It is situated 40km south-east of Seabridge Gold’s KSM-Iron Cap porphyry copper/gold deposit and Tudor Gold’s Treaty Creek gold/silver/copper project.

According to the earn-in deal, Freeport holds a two-stage option to earn up to 80% in the Todd Creek project over a period of up to ten years.

Freeport will initially have the option to earn an initial 51% stake in the project by funding C$20m of work expenditures over five years and paying C$900,000 in cash to ArcWest.

Upon earning 51% in the project, Freeport can elect to earn a further 29% in the Todd Creek project to bring its total stake to 80%.

In exchange, Freeport will fund another C$30m within the following five years, as well as pay C$750,000 in cash to ArcWest.

Commenting on the move, ArcWest president and CEO Tyler Ruks said: “ArcWest’s Todd Creek project is host to one of the largest underexplored copper-gold systems in BC’s Golden Triangle, and Freeport’s endorsement of the project is a testament to its potential for hosting a world-class copper-gold deposit.

“ArcWest is in discussions with multiple mining companies regarding potential earn-in agreements for our additional copper-gold projects.”

In accordance with the agreement, ArcWest and Freeport will fund the project cost on pro rata share on a 51:49 or 80:20 basis, upon Freeport finalising earned stake at either a 51% or 80% level.