Ormonde Mining PLC has won mining giant Antofagasta PLC as partner for an exploration joint venture on the La Zarza copper-molybdenum ground holdings in the Huelva Province of southern Spain, and work programmes will commence immediately.
The deal was flagged by Ormonde in July 2009, when it said it was in talks with a “major mining company” over carrying out an expanded exploration programme on La Zarza.
Ormonde also confirmed the key terms of the joint venture agreement. Antofagasta Minerals SA will extend the previous exploration by Ormonde to cover the entire extent of the 3 kilometres long La Zarza massive sulphide deposit, to evaluate the potential for this major body to host much larger resources of copper mineralisation.
Antofagasta has the right to earn a 51 percent interest in La Zarza over a three year period by spending US$7 million on these expanded exploration programmes and subsequent evaluation activities, with a minimum commitment of US$1 million in the first year.
Subject to completion of the earn-in, Antofagsata has the right to increase its interest in La Zarza to 75 percent by the completion of a feasibility study.
Initial work in the La Zarza joint venture will involve a combination of geological and geophysical surveys to refine target selection for a follow-up drilling programme scheduled for the New Year.