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.
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.
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.