South32 has exercised its exclusive earn-in option on Inca Minerals’ maiden Greater Riqueza zinc-silver-lead project in Peru.
The company will earn a 60 per cent interest in the Riqueza project by spending between $US8–10 million ($10.9–13.6 million) on phase one exploration, with the final figure still subject to agreement.
The agreement between the two companies was first announced in April 2018 when South32 agreed to fund a geophysical survey at Riqueza for $US275,000 to achieve its exclusivity option for majority rights to the project.
Under the terms of the agreement, all tenements at Riqueza will be transferred to a newly incorporated and as yet unnamed Peruvian company at commencement of phase one.
On completion of phase one, South32 will also have the right to acquire a further 10 per cent of Riqueza for a 70 per cent total in exchange for Phase 2 pre-feasibility funding.
Inca Minerals first acquired the project in April 2016 following results from highly prospective sampling programs that returned peaks of 22.7 per cent zinc, 24.15 per cent lead, 920g/t of silver and 3.59g/t of gold.
An exploration program of two prospects at Riqueza conducted in August 2016 returned average assay values of 10.68 per cent zinc, 205g/t silver and 11.77 per cent lead across the veins amd 12.48 per cent zinc, 261g/t silver and 10.5 per cent lead across mantos.
The project now hosts six prospects: Humaspunco, Uchpanga, Colina Roja, Alteration Ridge, Pinta and Pampa Corral.
Inca managing director Ross Brown said, “South32 is a globally recognised sector leader and provides a clear advantage and capacity in the development of Riqueza.”
“With a poryphyry-skarn focus added to our own zinc-silver-lead focus I see sustained upside for Inca shareholders.”