South32 extends base metals alliance
Perth, 12 March (Argus) — Diversified metals and resources group South32 has extended its strategic alliance with Australia-based exploration company AusQuest to further pursue base metals opportunities in Peru and Australia.
Funding support for its existing projects within the alliance will continue and funding for four new projects has been secured. This takes the total number of projects to 10.
South32 has exclusive rights to AusQuest's projects by funding them up to drilling stage. It can then elect to spend a further $4mn on each project to earn a 70pc interest and earn a further 10pc by completing a pre-feasibility study.
Around $6mn is estimated to be spent on five projects in 2018 in Peru and Australia. In Peru, drilling programmes are planned for the Chololo and Cerro de Fierro copper projects. In Australia, further drilling is planned for the Blue Billy zinc prospect and initial drilling is scheduled at the Balladonia and Jimberlana nickel prospects.
South32 has signed agreements in North America with other mining companies as part of its goal of increasing its global resource base.
The group has manganese, nickel, zinc, lead, silver, alumina, aluminium and coal production operations in Australia, South Africa, Mozambique and Colombia.