West Australia-based explorer E79 Gold Mines has gained an option to acquire the large-scale Mountain Home Copper-Gold Project in the Northern Territory.

For this transaction, E79 Gold Mines will have to make an upfront cash payment of $100,000.

Additionally, a further cash payment of $100,000 is due upon exercise of the option.

E79 Gold Mines will also pay a 2% net smelter royalty to NT Minerals, capped at a maximum of A$3m.

The total amount payable to NT Minerals Limited over four years is $200,000.

Upon making the final payment, E79 Gold will become the 100% owner of the Mountain Home Project.

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The next step is to finalise a formal agreement detailing the roles and responsibilities of each party, expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

During the option period, E79 Gold will have exclusive possession and access to the property to conduct exploration programmes at its discretion while maintaining the tenure in good standing.

The company plans to commence mapping and rock chip sampling over 5km of a prospective interpreted structure during the current Dry Season, with initial reconnaissance drilling over the most prospective parts of the system to follow.

This acquisition provides E79 Gold with a low entry cost and immediate exploration opportunities in a highly prospective geological setting.

The company will continue its exploration work on the existing Jungar Flats and Laverton South projects in parallel with the new activities at the Mountain Home Project.

The Mountain Home Project comprises a single large exploration tenement, EL32470, covering an area of 574km².

NT Minerals has identified an area of mineralised outcrop through soil sampling, with subsequent rock chip sampling conducted over 150m of this outcrop.

E79 Gold CEO Ned Summerhayes said: “The Mountain Home Project came to our attention through our project review process and was simply too good an opportunity to pass up, providing meaningful exposure to the prolific McArthur Basin in the Northern Territory.

“This Proterozoic-aged basin hosts the world’s largest accumulation of shale-hosted zinc-lead-silver mineralisation, including the world-class McArthur River lead-zinc Mine, the Teena zinc-lead discovery, the Redbank copper deposits, and the historic Merlin Diamond Mine, all of which lie within 80km of Mountain Home.”