Newcrest's busy BD week

FRESH from announcing a major South American deal yesterday, Newcrest Mining has signed its second Chilean farm-in with Mirasol Resources as well as investing in a Mexico-focused junior.
Newcrest's busy BD week Newcrest's busy BD week Newcrest's busy BD week Newcrest's busy BD week Newcrest's busy BD week

Kristie Batten

Newcrest can earn up to 80% of the 18,480 hectare Zeus high-sulphidation epithermal gold project.

During the initial option phase, Newcrest will pay US$100,000, spend $1.5 million in 18 months and pay Mirasol a 10% project management fee.

If Newcrest chooses to exercise the option, it will pay $400,000 and spend $8 million over four years to earn 51% and can move to 65% on delivery of a positive preliminary economic assessment, based on a resource of at least 1 million ounces of gold.

Newcrest can move to 75% by spending $100 million or delivering a positive bankable feasibility study, after which Mirasol can choose to contribute or exercise a financing option requiring Newcrest to fund its share of development costs in exchange for another 5% of the project.

Mirasol CEO Stephen Nano said a surface geological exploration and geophysical program would be conducted over the next three months ahead of drilling in October/November.

Zeus is only 40km from Gold Fields’ 3.8 million ounce Salares Nortes discovery and sits in the same geological setting as it and the 6.8Moz Alturas project owned by Barrick Gold.

Zeus contains two known recognised breccia-hosted gold targets, Artesia and Apollo.

Mirasol describes itself as a project generator. It also has South American JVs with Yamana Gold and OceanaGold Corporation.

In November, Newcrest and Mirasol signed an option and farm-in agreement over the Altazor high-sulphidation epithermal gold project in northern Chile.

Newcrest will be able to earn up to 80% of the projects in stages, in near-identical terms to the Zeus deal.

It was also revealed overnight that Newcrest will invest C$19 million in Almadex Minerals, owner of the early stage El Cobre gold-copper porphyry project in Mexico.

Newcrest has signed early stage farm-in deals with companies all over the world, aimed at finding the next tier one deposits to meet its goal of being exposed to five by 2020.

It took a step towards that goal yesterday when it agreed to invest $250 million in Lundin Gold, owner of the 9Moz Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador.

Earlier this month, Newcrest withdrew from a joint venture with AIM-listed Kodal over the Dabakala license in Cote d’Ivoire.

Newcrest is active in Australia, the Americas, Africa and South East Asia.

Shares in the company dropped by A9c by $21.76.

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