China’s Sino Gold Mining has formed a joint venture with Jilin Non-Ferrous Metals Brigade 602 covering an exploration licence north-east of Sino’s White Mountain mine in China.

Sino Gold will initially acquire a 75% stake for $2.25m over three years, with an initial payment of $1.4m. This stake can be further increased to 95%.

The new licence, which includes the Dongdapo prospect, is spread across an initial area of 29km2 and is along strike from the White Mountain mine.

The joint venture will significantly enhance the company’s near-mine exploration programme, Sino Gold CEO Jake Klein said.

“Our aim is to add significant value by discovering gold deposits within trucking distance from our new White Mountain processing facility,” Klein said.

Ground adits at the Dongdapo prospect have been previously carried out by Brigade 602.

High-grade gold mineralisation, contained in a silicified marble breccia, has been identified which is similar to that found at White Mountain, Sino Gold said.

Sino Gold plans to begin an exploration programme once the deal has been finalised, with drilling scheduled to begin in the first half of 2010.