Xtract Resources has announced a joint venture (JV) agreement with Oval Mining, which is in collaboration with Cooperlemon Consultancy, to potentially acquire up to a 70% stake in Zambia’s Silverking copper mine and its accompanying exploration licence.

The initial option period spans 18 months, during which Xtract must invest $500,000 in exploration to earn a 51% interest.

The JV will be formally set up between Xtract and Cooperlemon upon completion of the earn-in period or once Xtract has invested the required $500,000.

Xtract can then opt to increase its stake to 70% by committing an additional $1m over two years for further exploration and development.

Should the exploration yield an inferred resource exceeding 500,000 tonnes of contained copper, any future sale of the project will result in both parties sharing the proceeds equally.

The exploration licence, in Zambia’s Mumbwa District in the Central Province, encompasses an area of around 81.7km².

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Xtract has highlighted the Silverking mine’s distinctive mineralisation, noting deep oxidation and high-grade supergene enrichment similar to the nearby Kitumba deposit.

The historical Silverking operation, comprising both open-pit and underground mining, reached a depth of only 70m, with notable drill intercepts such as 50m at 5.47% copper (Cu).

Xtract Resources executive chairman Colin Bird said: “This agreement is consistent with the company’s stated mission of acquiring exploration resources which have significant copper showings, considerable upside potential and occur in proximity to current or potential mines.

“Silverking certainly satisfies all of the criteria, and we are excited about the prospects for a future discovery.”