Interra Copper has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to earn an 80% stake in the fully permitted Rip copper-molybdenum (Cu-Mo) project in central British Columbia (BC), a prolific mining region in Canada, from ArcWest Exploration.

Under the non-binding LOI, Interra will obtain a two-stage option to earn up to 80% in the project over a period of up to eight years.

The first phase of the earn-in involves Interra earning a 60% stake in the Rip project by issuing 1.05 million Interra shares and completing geological and exploration expenditures of C$2m ($1,481,254m).

Interra will also pay a cash of C$100,000 to ArcWest until 31 December 2027.

The second stage will see Interra earn an additional 20% stake in the project by advancing the project to the feasibility study level, within four years of completing the first tier earn-in or 31 December 2031 at the latest.

Interra will also fund C$2m in work and pay C$250,000 annually to ArcWest.

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In a press statement, Interra Copper said: “Possible extensions are granted to Interra for three additional years until 2033 at the latest, by continuing these same terms plus an additional C$100,000 per year.”

The proposed transaction is subject to necessary regulatory approvals, including that from the TSX Venture Exchange.

Interra director and COO Jason Nickel said: “The Rip project fits nicely into our portfolio of BC copper properties, located in a high profile jurisdiction, and with nearby infrastructure and past producing mines. Partnering with ArcWest on the Initial work programmes and our phase one earn-in, we look forward to uncovering what the present anomalies may discover.”

Located 63km south of Houston and 79km south-west of Burns Lake in central BC, the 2,309ha Rip project is situated in Stikine Terrane in a prolific belt of Late Cretaceous porphyry Cu-Mo deposits.

ArcWest president and CEO Tyler Ruks said: “ArcWest views the Rip project as containing a highly underexplored porphyry copper system and is looking forward to working with Interra to advance the project.”