Australia-based junior resource company Inca Minerals has announced the end of its operations in Peru.

As part of this decision, the company has decided to sell its Riqueza project and focus on its Australian ventures.

This decision follows an 18-month period of unsuccessful discussions with potential joint venture (JV) partners for the Peruvian project.

The Riqueza project, prospective for potential Tier 1 deposits, has proven costly due to the high expenses and complex regulatory environment in Peru.

Inca’s board has deemed the cost of maintaining Peruvian operations unsustainable, particularly without the assurance of securing a JV funding partner.

The company’s focus will now shift to its exploration efforts in Australia, with the aim of managing operating expenditure more prudently.

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Cessation of operations in Peru is expected to significantly reduce Inca’s monthly expenses, as the Peruvian team and related costs represent the largest cost base for the company.

Inca has initiated discussions with potentially interested parties, some of whom had previously shown preliminary interest, to explore the possibility of selling the Riqueza project.

Additionally, the sale of property, plant and equipment in Peru is planned, with the proceeds going towards the expenses associated with winding up the operations, including compensating consultants in Peru and settling any outstanding liabilities.

The redirection of funds from the ceased Peruvian operations will enable Inca Minerals to allocate more resources towards priority exploration activities in Australia, aligning with the company’s strategic focus on optimising its investment in the mining sector.

In a statement, the company said: “As previously announced in the December 2023 quarterly, on-ground work at the Riqueza Project has been confined to the re-engagement with the local communities in the Riqueza region and the commencement of rehabilitation programs from prior work, to comply with environmental rehabilitation requirements.

“This re-engagement has been well received by the relevant communities and the rehabilitation works will be completed this month.”