BHP formalises Ecuador JV

BHP and Luminex Resources have cemented an earn-in and joint venture agreement first proposed in March.
BHP formalises Ecuador JV BHP formalises Ecuador JV BHP formalises Ecuador JV BHP formalises Ecuador JV BHP formalises Ecuador JV

Copper mineralised outcrop from the Tarqui discovery zone in Ecuador

Under the terms of the previously announced agreement, BHP can earn an initial 51% interest in Luminex's Tarqui & Tarqui 2 mining concessions in Ecuador by spending US$25 million and paying Luminex $2.4 million in cash over four years.

It can then earn an additional 9% interest by sole funding another $10 million of exploration and making an additional $4.6 million cash payment over a further two-years.

BHP will have the right to earn a further 10% interest to bring its total interest to 70% by sole funding an additional $40 million.

BHP will pay an initial $100,000 to Luminex upon signing the agreement and $200,000 upon completion of the transfer of the properties to the JV company the partners are forming. BHP will also incur $200,000 in expenses, which represents costs from the signing of a letter of intent up to May 31. Luminex will be reimbursed for the approved June 2019 expenses related to the property.

The Tarqui concessions are 24km northwest of the Mirador deposit within the porphyry-rich Zamora copper gold metallogenic belt in southeastern Ecuador.

BHP once owned the ground in the 1990s.

The belt hosts the San Carlos/Panantza, Mirador, Fruta Del Norte and Santa Barbara deposits. A mineralised porphyry system has been identified on the Tarqui property with more than 1% copper at surface.

BHP also owns an 11.2% stake in Ecuador explorer SolGold.

Luminex, which was spun out of Lumina Gold in August 2018, has now entered into earn-in agreements with three major copper companies for its properties in Ecuador having previously signed agreements with Anglo American and First Quantum Minerals.

Luminex is listed in Toronto and has a market capitalisation of C$30 million.