OZ Minerals will spend up to $10 million on an exploration program at Investigator Resources’ Maslins project in South Australia to gain a controlling interest at the site.
Maslins, an iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) project 100 per cent-owned by Investigator subsidiary Gawler Resources, is around 50 kilometres south of OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena project.
Investigator believes the project could fill a market gap between larger copper mines in the area, such as BHP’s Olympic Dam operation, and smaller IOCG deposits like Carrapateena and Prominent Hill.
OZ Minerals has the right to earn 70 per cent stake in the project by committing to three stages of exploration funding over the next five years.
In stage one, due for completion on or before July 12 next year, OZ Minerals is required to spend $1.4 million on exploration works, including infill magneto-telluric (MT) survey data, gravity surveys and diamond drilling.
The terms of a formal joint venture agreement would then be drawn up in stage two, with OZ Minerals spending a further $2.6 million to secure 51 per cent of Maslins.
OZ Minerals will then spend the final $6 million over a two-year period in stage three to boost its ownership to 70 per cent.
Investigator will then have the choice to fund further exploration and development following this period, or dilute to a 20 per cent ownership, with further works being treated as a fund from OZ Minerals.
OZ Minerals head of exploration and growth Richard Holmes said the company’s commitment to the Maslins project was a key opportunity to explore the significant potential of the IOCG target in its hunt for future copper resources in the state.
“It further consolidates OZ Minerals’ exposure in the Olympic Domain with Prominent Hill, Carrapateena and the Punt Hill joint venture to the north of Maslins,” Holmes said.