Australian mining giant BHP is set to invest up to C$13.9m ($10.19m) in Brixton Metals, with an aim to advance the Thorn Copper-Gold Porphyry Project in Canada.

The transaction will see BHP picking a 19.9% stake in Brixton Metals through the purchase of the latter’s common shares, at C$0.18 apiece, in a non-brokered private placement.  

However, the number of shares to be issued by Brixton Metals and proceeds to be raised will be dependent on Crescat Portfolio Management ’s move to exercise its pre-existing rights to take part in Brixton Metals’ equity financings.

Crescat currently holds a 13.47% stake in Brixton Metals.

In the event of Crescat not opting to exercise its rights, Brixton Metals will issue 74,363,172 of its common shares to BHP, for C$13.4m ($9.8m) in aggregate gross proceeds.

If Crescat exercises its participation, Brixton Metals would issue 12,042,415 of its common shares to Crescat for C$2.2m in gross proceeds and 77,354,983 common shares to BHP for C$13.9m in aggregate gross proceeds.

The private placement is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval, as well as other customary closing conditions, and is planned to complete in mid-November 2022.

Brixton Metals chairman and CEO Gary Thompson said: “We believe that the Thorn Project has the potential to help fill the immense demand for critical metals, such as copper, as our economy transitions to a sustainable low-carbon and electrified world.”

In connection with the private placement, Brixton also signed an investment agreement with BHP, whereby the latter will hold certain rights and privileges to acquire common shares in Brixton on a pro-rata basis in the future.

Located within the traditional territory of the Taku River Tlingit and Tahltan First Nations in Northwest British Columbia, the 2,863km² Thorn Project comprises a district-scale emerging Eocene-Cretaceous-Jurassic-Triassic porphyry copper belt.

In a separate announcement, BHP signed a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with Neoen to power its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia from FY2026.

Under the PPA, Neoen will supply 70MW of clean electricity to the Olympic Dam mine. The power will be supplied from Neoen’s 203MW Goyder South Stage 1b Wind Farm.