BHP has ventured further into North America by partnering with Midland Exploration in the hunt for nickel in Quebec, Canada.
Midland is a gold, platinum group elements and base metals explorer in Quebec.
Under the agreement, BHP will fund the entire exploration, up to $C1.4 million ($1.48 million) for at least two years while Midland acts as the operator.
The alliance aims to identify and secure exploration projects that will be advanced to a drill-ready stage within the area of interest of the Nunavik territory.
BHP has the option to further the exploration work of up to $C700,000, before being granted the right to become the operator of any designated project in the second phase.
Testing phase may last up to four years with a total budget of up to $C4 million.
BHP can elect to advance the project further with a joint venture.
Both companies are preparing logistics of the first phase of work, which already includes high-quality targets to be visited during the first field program scheduled for September.
BHP chief executive Mike Henry has repeatedly emphasised the company’s intention to create more options in “future-facing commodities” to help the company grow value.
“These options will come from both within our existing footprint as well as through securing more resources through exploration and early stage entry,” Henry said earlier this year.
BHP is not the only one eyeing the wealth of minerals in Canada, as junior Artemis Gold also announced the conclusion of its acquisition of the Blackwater gold project in central British Columbia.
Artemis has now acquired all of New Gold’s property, assets and rights related to the Blackwater project.
The company has submitted an initial payment of $C140 million, in addition to the issuance of more than 7.4 million shares Artemis shares to New Gold and a cash payment of $50 million a year after the transaction close.