Tertiary Minerals, an AIM (Alternative Investment Market)-traded mineral exploration and development company, has announced the approval of the environmental project brief (EPB) for its Mupala Copper Project in Zambia.

The approval allows Tertiary Minerals to initiate mineral exploration activities at the Mupala project.

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency granted the EPB approval, following the letter of consent from the Sailunga Chiefdom obtained earlier this year.

The company is preparing to start work programmes next month, which will include soil sampling to verify identified anomalies and assist with surface regolith mapping.

The Mupala Copper Project, situated 12km west of the company’s Mukai Project and adjacent to the Anglo American/Arc Minerals joint venture (JV), is in a region known for its copper and nickel mines.

Anglo American has the option to earn a 70% interest in the JV by spending $88.5m (£70.62m).

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The project’s location in the Domes Region of north-west Zambia, near the Kabompo Dome, places it in proximity to multiple producing mines including First Quantum Mineral’s Sentinel complex.

Recent historical data has highlighted multiple copper-in-soil anomalies within the licence area, indicating the potential for significant mineral deposits.

Tertiary Minerals executive chairman Patrick Cheetham said: “We are delighted to report the approval of the EPB which, alongside the receipt of the letter of consent from the Sailunga Chiefdom, allows us to commence exploration at the Mupala Project.

“A recent review of historical exploration conducted within the Licence area and more recent exploration and mine development on adjacent areas by majors such as First Quantum Minerals and Anglo American highlights the prospectivity of the licence.

“The licence was granted to the company in competition with several other applicants including Anglo American Corporation, which has now started exploration that will include diamond drilling on adjacent licences.”