Rio forms JV to explore untapped copper-gold prospects

17 March, 2021

Tali Resources has signed a joint venture agreement with Rio Tinto over the exploration of five prospective copper-gold tenements in Western Australia.

The residences are in the West Arunta and Madura regions of the state. These are some of Australia’s most unexplored areas. 

Chief executive Mark Savich said the exploration of the untapped region should be a good move for all parties.

“It is pleasing to see a major mining company such as Rio Tinto commit to exploring on Kiwirrkurra lands within the West Arunta region through it farm-in agreement with Tali,” Savich said.

“We look forward to the commencement of their exploration as well as the prospect of new opportunities being created for the Kiwirrkurra community.”

A significant roadblock to the agreement may be the signing of native title consent. Rio Tinto have advised the with terminate the agreement within 60 days if consent is not given to explore the region. 

If the proposed plans do go ahead, they will do so in three stages.

The first stage will see Rio Tinto earn a 51 per cent joint venture interest, once an exploration expenditure of $3 million has been solely funded by the company.

In addition to this, Rio Tinto must compete a minimum of 3000 metres of diamond and/or reverse circulation (RC) drilling within the first three years.

Assuming stage one is satisfied stage two of the project will earn Rio Tinto 14 more per cent interest. This will assume a further $5.5 million is put towards the tenements’ exploration in addition to 7000 metres of drilling.

Finally, once stages 1 and 2 are complete, the last leg will add a further 10 per cent interest to Rio Tinto’s earnings. This will be dependent on the success of the prospects.

Article summarised from Australian mining.