OZ Minerals and Minotaur are negotiating a restructure of the Eloise joint venture (JV) as the companies prepare for a fresh round of drilling at the Jericho copper-gold discovery near Cloncurry, Queensland.
Adelaide-based OZ Minerals achieved its target of 70 per cent ownership of Eloise at the end of March after investing $10 million in the JV’s tenements.
When OZ Minerals entered into Eloise with Minotaur in April last year, it spent an initial stage one spend of $5 million to earn a 51 per cent interest in the JV.
Minotaur today announced in its quarterly report that it had developed an “indicative and non-binding” term sheet to restructure its JV with OZ Minerals, which it anticipates will lead to a binding agreement “within weeks”.
Minotaur, which is the acting manager and operator of the Eloise JV, plans to drill 80 to 90 holes in the central Jericho zone through to July 2019 to further refine the deposit’s mineralisation.
Drilling resumed in early April using two multi-purpose rigs operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company aims to drill a total of 21,000 metres to a vertical depth of 300 metres. The plans to escalate the drilling at Jericho were first announced in November last year.
“The program is intended to improve geological confidence in lode continuity and grade by closing existing hole spacings and is expected to enable estimation of an inaugural JORC resource for that portion of Jericho,” Minotaur said in an ASX statement.
The drilling campaign at Jericho has been expanded several times. The initial round of drilling works at Jericho started in April 2018 and was expanded on separate occasions in June, July and September 2018.