Australia-based metals explorer Southern Hemisphere Mining has signed a new Chilean copper/gold joint venture (JV) with global miner Lundin Mining.
The JV, known as the Los Rulos, has acquired two new highly prospective copper-gold projects in Central Chile.
The JV expands the existing alliance with Lundin Mining at the Llahuin project, where the company is sole-funding exploration with the right to earn a 75% interest.
The Los Rulos JV covers a 2,220km² area of co-operation in the Coquimbo region, which enables both the companies to jointly explore and acquire prospects in the area.
As per the deal, Lundin Mining will initially hold and fund a 50% interest in the JV company.
Lundin Mining has the right to acquire a further 15% stake after two years, increasing its interest to 65%, by paying Southern Hemisphere twice the company's expenditure to date.
A new Southern Hemisphere/Lundin Mining JV company, dubbed Minera Los Rulos, has been incorporated in Chile.
Minera Los Rulos has signed two option agreements to purchase the prospective Armandiño and Polvareda 2 copper-gold projects, located at Los Rulos in the Coquimbo region of Central Chile.
Southern Hemisphere managing director Trevor Tennant said the deal is an important and strategic step in the company's relationship with Lundin Mining, which follows a highly successful collaboration over the past year at the Llahuin project.
"In recent months we have jointly reviewed new areas in the Coquimbo region prospective for copper-gold and after completing, mapping, channel sampling and IP surveys at both projects, selected Armandiño and Polvareda 2 as the first of the acquisitions under this new JV," Tennant added.
The Armandiño exploitation concessions, which cover 100ha, are central to existing exploration concessions already held by Minera Los Rulos.
The Polvareda 2 exploitation concessions, which cover 60ha, are adjacent and along structure from a high grade copper skarn mine producing 200t-300t of ore per day.
Image: Location map of Armandiño and Polvareda 2 projects relative to the Llahuin project. Photo: Courtesy of Southern Hemisphere Mining.