Rio Tinto has inked an agreement with Calibre Mining for the Borosi gold-silver-copper projects in northeast Nicaragua.
The Borosi concessions include the mothballed La Luz-Siuna mine, the Santa Maria gold-silver project and the primavera gold-copper porphyry project.
Rio Tinto and Calibre also plan to acquire exploration concessions in Nicaragua, with a focus on copper-gold porphyry, skarn and epithermal precious metal systems.
Calibre chief executive Russell Ball described Nicaragua as a country with tremendous geological endowment and was under-explored from a modern exploration perspective.
“As one of the world’s premier mining companies, Rio Tinto brings a tremendous global perspective and both the experience and capital necessary to accelerate our value-creation efforts,” he said.
“I expect this to be a long and mutually beneficial arrangement that adds value for our respective shareholder groups, but more importantly, for the people and the country of Nicaragua.”
Under the earn-in agreement, Rio Tinto will have a five-year option to acquire a 55 per cent interest in the Borosi projects by investing $US10 million ($15.15 million) in expenditures.
Rio Tinto can earn up to 75 per cent interest in Borosi by incurring a further $US35 million in the following years.
Calibre will remain the initial operator of the field work, with Rio Tinto reserving the right to instruct Calibre to acquire selected properties.
The Borosi concessions are approximately 275 kilometres northeast of the capital city of Managua.
They cover 667 square kilometres within Nicaragua’s Mining Triangle, which has reportedly produced 7.9 million ounces of gold, four million ounces of silver and 305 million pounds of copper.