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Pampa Metals has partnered with US-based VerAI Discoveries to analyse and explore copper and gold targets in Chile to capitalise on the soaring commodity prices.

According to the definitive documentation signed with VerAI, Pampa Metals will be allowed to evaluate and explore a series of copper and precious metals targets on eight new property blocks.

Fully owned by VerAI, the eight property blocks cover a total area of 18,700ha in parts of central-northern Chile.

VerAI generated these copper and precious metal targets using its artificial intelligence (AI) methodologies and high-resolution geophysics data.

The agreement provides an exclusive option to Pampa Metals to define one or more designated projects (DPs) from the eight property blocks, over a 12-month period.

Pampa Metals is required to bear exploration expenditure of $500,000 over the 12 months.

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Furthermore, the firm is required to make at least five projects as ‘Designated’ or return to VerAI within a period of six months. The remaining projects must be ‘Designated’ or returned to VerAI in the next six months.

In order to earn a 51% stake in each DP selected, Pampa Metals is required to spend at least $1m over the following two years, on each DP.

Upon earning 51% on any DP, Pampa Metals will form a joint-venture (JV) company for the JV project.

Following the acquisition of a 51% stake on any DP, the firm will also have the option to earn a further 24% stake on the DP by completing a Canadian NI-43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment, over the next two years.

VerAI, however, will take over the project management in the event Pampa Metals decides not to advance towards the completion of a PEA.

These eight blocks are located within similar geographic and geologic areas to Pampa Metals’ completely-owned projects.

Pampa Metals CEO Paul Gill said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for Pampa Metals to leverage cutting edge technologies in the exploration for porphyry copper, iron-oxide-copper-gold, and other related mineral deposit types in a highly prospective part of northern Chile.

“The agreement with VerAI not only gives the company access to the predictive results of the latest in AI technology applied to mineral exploration, but VerAI’s property portfolio is highly complementary to that of Pampa Metals.

“The Company has manageable commitments that will allow it to evaluate VerAI’s portfolio, and potentially add quality projects for more detailed exploration to complement its already highly prospective portfolio.”

In a separate announcement, Chile’s environmental committee has reportedly approved a proposal, marking the first step to nationalise some of the world’s biggest copper and lithium mines.

The proposal forms part of the drafting of Chile’s new constitution and has to cross several hurdles before it becomes a reality, reported Bloomberg News.