Golden deal complete

A Chinese company has made a move into the WA gold market.

In what is believed to be the completion of first Chinese venture into the Western Australian gold industry, Range River Gold has signed a farm-in agreement with North West International Investment Company Limited (NWII).

According to the terms of the deal, NWII will earn a 49% stake in the Indee gold project in the Pilbara by spending $6 million on exploration and development over four years.

NWII is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese state-owned Northwest Mining and Geological Exploration Group NWME.

The deal, which had already received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, was signed by all parties yesterday in Xi’an, China.

The farm-in remains subject to finalisation of a joint venture agreement to govern operations of the Indee project after the farm-in has been completed. The terms of the proposed joint venture have been discussed, and the parties have agreed to progress this quickly, Range River said.

The companies expect the exploration to begin around the end of the first quarter of 2010, following the peak wet season in Western Australia.

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