Minotaur Exploration is scouting for promising assets across a 24,000sq km swathe of North-West Queensland in a bid to develop a new Cloncurry minerals hub.
It has been allocated $1 million for the 24-month research effort under the new Cloncurry Alliance.
The agreement is among a suite of partnership deals the company has now cemented with OZ Minerals.
“What we basically did with OZ Minerals was agree to work together to create opportunities in the Cloncurry region,” Minotaur managing director Andrew Woskett said.
The plans are centred on the advanced Jericho copper-gold project, which is the subject of a joint venture agreement between the companies.
The companies have earmarked an area between Mount Isa and McKinlay to the south-east of Cloncurry where they will work exclusively together.
“If we assume Jericho is robust enough to reach development, it would be ideal to have other opportunities in the regions to complement that,” Mr Woskett said.
The mothballed Rocklands mine and processing plant stands just over 90km from Jericho and Mr Woskett did not rule it out as a potential interest for the Cloncurry Alliance.
“Everything needs to be looked at,” he said.
“That (Rocklands) is complicated by the fact it’s in liquidation. I wouldn’t like to pretend it’s an opportunity we would easily be able to grab hold of or even ultimately want.”
Mr Woskett said the joint venture expects to have established a JORC resource for Jericho within the first half of 2020.
If the case for production stacked up, he said the project would then be about two years away from mining.
The agreements between OZ Minerals and Minotaur include the Eloise JV, under whichOZ Minerals has agreed to spend another $3 million on the Eloise project over the forthcoming 24 months.
The Jericho JVwas formed around the Jericho deposit, which itself was excised from the Eloise JV in April 2019.
Jericho JV interests were then set at OZ Minerals 80 per cent and Minotaur 20 per cent, with OZ Minerals undertaking to finance all of Minotaur’s share of expenditure until positive cash flow occurs from mining of Jericho.
Minotaur is manager and operator of both joint ventures.
“A point I would like to make it that it is very encouraging for an organisation like OZ Minerals, who have been very South Australia-focused but are now expanding elsewhere, to come into the North West Minerals Province in a solid way,” Mr Woskett said.
“It’s a big commitment by OZ in that area and I’m very confident that will continue to grow and they will become part of the landscape there like Minotaur. In South Australia and now Brazil OZ has shown its ability to invest heavily in local regions where its mines are being developed”.
Mr Woskett said some very important decisions on the Jericho project would come to a head by the end of this month.
“I’m confident these decisions, when they are made, will reflect the quality of the project we think we have,” Mr Woskett said.
Read the latest Jericho drill results HERE.