Canadian firm Orford Mining has signed a C$25m ($19.68m) earn-in and joint venture agreement with Australia-based Wyloo Metals for the West Raglan project in Quebec, Canada.

Covering an area of 66,350ha, the West Raglan property is situated in the west-central portion of the Cape Smith Belt within the Nunavik Region of northern Quebec.

Wyloo Metals will have an option to earn up to 80% interest in the advanced Ni-Cu-Co-PGE exploration property by spending a total of $19.68m over seven years.

Moreover, Orford Mining will have the option to pro-rata contribute to maintain its 20% stake in the joint venture or dilute down to a 2% net smelter return royalty (NSR), upon completion of the earn-in period.

Wyloo Metals head Luca Giacovazzi said: “Continuing the discovery of metals like nickel is critical to achieving a low carbon future, which is why we are committed to supporting exploration. To maximise our chances of discovery, we know that we need to be exploring in proven endowed mineral belts.

“This is why we are so excited about West Raglan. We’ll be using modern technologies to look deeper and more effectively than others before us, as we search for the next great Canadian nickel discovery.”

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The deal also allows Wyloo Metals to invest C$1.7m ($1.34m) to execute an approved work programme this summer.

The work programme includes new ground geophysics, geological mapping, and geochemistry surveys.

Orford Mining president and CEO David Christie said: “The West Raglan project is one of the few nickel sulphide projects in the world that is drill ready in a proven nickel belt.

“Nickel and Cobalt markets have seen a resurgence as the electric vehicle battery market continues to grow demand for these metals.”

To date, six major discoveries have been made at the West Raglan project at shallow depths, with the best results coming from the Frontier Zone.

In August, Canadian miner Midland Exploration’s subsidiary Midland Base Metals signed a new funding deal with BHP unit Rio Algom to advance nickel exploration activities in northern Quebec, Canada.