Canada-based copper exploration company Quetzal Copper has secured the option to acquire Polaris Resources, which owns the Cristinas copper project in Chihuahua, Mexico.

In a statement, Quetzal noted: “Polaris Resources holds a 100% interest in the Cristinas copper project located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico (the “Cristinas Project”), subject to fulfillment of certain underlying payments to be made to the underlying property vendors (the “Property Vendors”).”

The deal, signed with certain third-party vendors (Polaris Vendors), allows Quetzal to buy all Polaris Resources’ issued and outstanding shares.

Quetzal Copper is required to make an initial payment of $50,000 (C$68,730) to Polaris Vendors.

It will also assume the responsibility of making additional cash payments totalling $300,000 to the Property Vendors over the next three years, along with issuing $1.5m worth of common shares of Quetzal in equal instalments until 2027.

To finalise the deal, Quetzal must make an investment of $1m in exploration activities at the Cristinas Project by the end of December 2025.

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The transaction awaits the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

The Cristinas Project spans 685 hectares and includes a historic copper mine that was operational in the 1970s, focusing on shallow copper oxide mineralisation.

In 2014, Cyprium Mining conducted a drilling programme that evaluated the potential for higher-grade shallow copper-silver mineralisation and identified several parallel structures with significant widths.

Quetzal’s geologists have also identified extensive sets of copper-rich carbonate veins.

These findings suggest the presence of a copper-rich, carbonate replacement (CRD)/skarn style mineralising system, which could indicate significant extensions of copper mineralisation beneath the previously drilled areas.

Quetzal CEO Matthew Badiali said: “The Cristinas Project is another exciting exploration target identified by the company’s technical team. It has all the features we value: nearby infrastructure, road access, outstanding geology with high-grades and historic exploration success.

“The Cristinas Project held a small-scale oxide copper mine in the 1970s. The only drilling since was completed in 2014. That programme yielded 4.3m true width grading 3.2% copper and 3.7m (true width) of 3.0% copper.

“These are the deepest completed holes, only 80m below the surface, and remain open at depth. No one ever followed up on the historical drill programme. We believe the Cristinas Project provides our shareholders with an excellent risk/reward profile for an exploration project, and we intend to commence drilling in late May 2024.”