Mineral exploration firm Symbol Mining has signed an offtake and marketing deal with Noble Resources International for the shipping and sale of high-grade zinc and lead products in Nigeria.

The agreement grants Noble partial rights to purchase or market product from mines owned and operated by Imperial JV operations.

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Imperial is a joint venture between Symbol (60%) and Goidel Resources (40%), and contains three exploration leases covering 510km².

Symbol chief executive Tim Wither said: “Execution of the offtake agreement and securing the final funding requirements for Macy demonstrates the continued support of Symbol’s strategy of securing early high margin cash flow from the Imperial joint venture, aggressive exploration of future resources and expanding our current asset portfolio across Nigeria.”

“We are very pleased to secure the final funding requirements for Macy, as well as executing the offtake and marketing agreement with Noble.”

The company expects to commence the first shipment from the JV’s Macy deposit by the end of the third quarter of this year.

Alongside the offtake deal, Symbol has executed a $3m loan facility, which represents the final funding requirements for the development of the Macy project.

Wither added: “We are very pleased to secure the final funding requirements for Macy, as well as executing the offtake and marketing agreement with Noble, which is a highly experienced offtake partner, and allows us to leverage on Noble’s strong and established customer base.”

The miner has recently started full-scale mining at the Macy project after the receipt of approval of the mining lease.

It expects the project to generate strong cashflow for debt repayment and to provide the ongoing funding for exploration activities.