ASX-listed mining explorer Metal Bank has received exclusive rights for copper exploration in Jordan through two agreements with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR).

The first agreement, called the Malaqa exploration agreement, offers Metal Bank exclusive rights to copper exploration within the Um el Amad historical mining zone.

The second agreement is a regional reconnaissance agreement. With support from the MEMR, the company will be able to conduct inspection, assessment and studies for copper resources within the Wadi Araba area under this agreement.

Located in the far north-western region of the well-mineralised Arabian-Nubian Shield, the Wadi Araba area is considered to be highly prospective.

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By GlobalData

Metal Bank claims that these agreements provide it with a first-mover advantage in the country, where base and precious metal exploration activities have been limited in recent times.

Covering 25km², the Malaqa exploration agreement is located in the central-west of Jordan.

The company has been granted an initial two-year work programme. It will work at the historic near-surface ‘Um el Amad’ stratiform sediment-hosted copper deposit. Historically, this place was mined intermittently.

According to the MEMR, the rocks within the region host nearly 36 million tonnes (mt) of copper at 1.36%. The rocks within the Wadi Araba are reputed to host up to 28mt at 1.51%.

Through the reconnaissance agreement, the company will have the rights to an initial two-year term to conduct studies, reconnaissance, inspection and assessment for copper throughout the Wadi Araba area to identify areas with potential for mineral exploration.

Metal Bank chairperson Inés Scotland said: “The Malaqa region provides MBK with immediate upside with copper resource potential centred on the historic Um el Amad mine; one of the most significant sources of copper in the Roman empire, which has never been subject to modern, systematic exploration.

“Equally exciting is the opportunity to investigate and explore the Proterozoic basement rocks of the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS), which outcrop in the Wadi Araba area in southern Jordan. The ANS hosts some world-class deposits such as Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia, that we have significant experience with from our time in Saudi.

“While MBK is the sole signatory to the agreements, we will be partnering in Jordan with our previous Saudi Arabian joint venture partner, who has significant business interests in Jordan.”