Greatland Gold and Newcrest Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary Newcrest Operations have signed a farm-in agreement to explore and develop Greatland’s Havieron project in the Paterson region of Western Australia.

Under the agreement signed by Greatland Gold and its wholly-owned subsidiary Greatland, the companies will form a joint venture (JV) to develop the Havieron gold-copper project.

A majority interest in the JV will be owned by Newcrest, which will act as manager of the exploration programme during the farm-in period.

Drilling at Havieron is expected to recommence next month, subject to the companies’ receipt of all required regulatory and heritage approvals.

Newcrest will process the ore from the Havieron site at its Telfer Gold Mine located about 45km to the west of Havieron.

Greatland Gold CEO Gervaise Heddle said: “Greatland will receive tremendous benefit from Newcrest’s experience as a developer and producer at Telfer and Newcrest’s broader understanding of the geology of the Paterson region.

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“The terms of the farm-in agreement recognise both the exciting potential of the Havieron project and the significant value that has been added to the project through a series of systematic exploration campaigns by Greatland since it was acquired in September 2016.”

“Greatland will receive tremendous benefit from Newcrest’s experience as a developer and producer at Telfer.”

Newcrest can spend up to $65m to acquire up to a 70% interest in 12 areas that cover the Havieron project and complete a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over a period of six years.

After meeting the milestones, the company can acquire an additional 5% interest at fair market value, potentially increasing its interest in the project to 75%.

Newcrest chief development officer Michael Nossal said: “Greatland Gold’s exploration to date has intersected significant mineralisation only 45km from Telfer’s extensive infrastructure and processing capacity.”