Auroch Minerals Limited has announced a new joint venture to  earn  up  to  75%  of  the  Alcoutim  Project in  south- eastern Portugal located immediately along strike from  Neves Corvo Mine in the  Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB).  

The Alcoutim Project builds  the company’s  exploration  focus  on  metals  that  are  crucial  to  the  renewable  energy  markets  such  as  the  company’s Karibib Lithium Project in Namibia.   

Auroch will spend A$1.4m to earn a 65% interest in the Alcoutim Project.  

Auroch will also  have the right, but not the obligation, to earn a further 10% by spending a further A$1.25m. 

Alcoutim Project is wholly owned by Bolt Resources, a joint venture company through which Auroch and the other joint venture participants will hold their interest in the project.

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By GlobalData

On successful renewal of the prospecting licence which consists of  the project by the Portuguese  government, the loan will be converted into an initial 65% equity interest in Bolt, with €90,000 to  be  repayable  to  Auroch  on  repayment  of  performance  bonds  lodged  with  the  Portuguese  government in relation to the project. 

If the prospecting licence is not successfully renewed by 31 December 2017, Auroch will have the right to terminate the agreement and the loan will be repayable within seven  days of such termination. 

Though Auroch will have the right, not the obligation to subscribe for a further 10% of Bolt for  a further €960,000 to take its interest in Bolt up to 75%, along with a loan to Bolt of €40,000  for the bond payment due at that time. 

Funding post the  second tranche will be pro rata by the joint venture participants.

Auroch CEO Dr Andrew Tunks said: “This is one of the most exciting exploration targets I have been involved in.

“At the Alcoutim Cu-Zn Project, we are directly along strike and down plunge of the Super Giant Neves Corvo mine.

“Within the licence, there are multiple coincident magnetic-gravity-EM anomalies and our plan is to test these with diamond drilling immediately.

“Drilling is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017 and the initial programme will continue for approximately six months; each hole will undergo a complete series of down-hole geophysical tests, which substantially increases the search radius for massive sulphide and stockwork VMS copper-zinc deposits.”

The Alcoutim Project includes an area of 576km2.

"Drilling is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017 and the initial programme will continue for approximately six months."

The licence includes the analysed down plunge extensions of this Neves Corvo trend.

Auroch Minerals stated that the licence area contains several coincident gravity-magnetic and EM targets, which will be the focus for the maiden drilling activity scheduled to commence soon. 

In Phase I, five diamond holes will be drilled that will target five prominent geophysical targets with coincident magnetic, gravity and EM anomalies.

The company will conduct down-hole geophysical surveys after completing each borehole that assists in increasing effective search area outside the drill hole and enables improved targeting on future drilling.

Image: The location of Alcoutim Project. Photo: courtesy of Auroch Minerals.