Australia-based OZ Minerals has agreed to earn a 75% interest in the Benmara Project in the Northern Territory, Australia, from Xavier Resources , a subsidiary of Resolution Minerals.

The multi-year farm-in and joint venture (JV ) agreement signed between the firms allows them to accelerate the search for copper discoveries on the Benmara project.

Under the deal, OZ Minerals will carry out exploration activities of $1m over an initial two-year period and an additional $3m expenditure over a three-year period to earn a 51% stake in the Benmara project.

Following the acquisition of a 51% stake in the project, a JV agreement is expected to be executed.

Resolution Minerals, however, will continue to own a 100% interest in the project in case OZ Minerals fails to spend $4m within the five-year period.

Furthermore, Resolution Minerals said that it ‘can elect to contribute at a 49% interest (initial JV formed) or 25% interest following positive financial investment decision (PFID)’.

OZ Minerals can earn a 75% interest in the Benmara Project by spending at least $1m annually over a further period of five years to PFID.

Located in the South Nicholson Basin, the project comprises mineral exploration tenements, specifically EL32228, EL31287, EL32229, EL32849, EL32850, EL32883 and EL33059.

Resolution Minerals CEO Christine Lawley said: “We are very pleased to announce this new exploration funding agreement with copper-focused producer OZ Minerals for the Benmara Project in the underexplored South Nicholson Basin, Northern Territory.

“The new farm-in and JV agreement with OZ Minerals is validation of Resolution’s exploration strategy, which identified the potential for large-scale base metal deposits analogous to the worldclass McArthur River Mine in this under-explored region during the 2021 field season.”