Tertiary Minerals and First Quantum Minerals (FQM) have reached a technical cooperation agreement to jointly explore two copper projects in Zambia.

The agreement covers the Mukai and Mushima North project interests in Tertiary Minerals in the country.

Located in the north-western province of Zambia, the Mukai project exploration licence is close to FQM’s Trident Project, which includes the recently opened nickel mine and the sentinel copper mine.

The Mushima North exploration licence in the Kasempa District is also located in the active exploration area for FQM.

The licence includes basement rocks outside of the traditional Copper Belt and is a focus of exploration for iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits.

According to the agreed terms, Tertiary Minerals and FQM will set up a technical committee to work together on advancing the exploration and development of the two projects.

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The committee will also help and advise Tertiary on the projects’ technical matters.

Tertiary Minerals executive chairman Patrick Cheetham said: “This agreement will turbo-charge Tertiary’s Zambian exploration in these two key licence areas.

“We are set to benefit from FQM’s extensive and in-depth country experience, gained over many years of exploration and mine development in Zambia and, importantly, its site-specific historical exploration in and around these two exciting projects.”

Furthermore, FQM will provide all of its historical exploration data for the two licence areas to Tertiary.

On an ongoing basis, Tertiary will submit its exploration results of the projects to the newly-formed technical committee.

In August last year, the company’s subsidiary Luangwa Minerals struck an option agreement with Mwashia Resources to acquire a stake of up to 90% in five copper exploration licences in Zambia.