South32 has struck an earn-in agreement with Adventus Mining via its subsidiary to advance the exploration of three zinc-lead-silver projects in the Republic of Ireland.
This agreement grants South32 subsidiary, South32 Base Metals Ireland the right to acquire a 70 per cent interest in the projects by sole-funding €3.5 million ($5.65 million) in exploration expenditure over a four-year period.
The projects, Rathkeale, Kingscourt and Fermoy are located in the Limerick Basin, covering an area of around 1155 square kilometres.
Adventus will hold the operator position during the earn-in period, but representatives from the South32 subsidiary and the Canadian-headquartered company will approve exploration programs and budgets for the projects.
Adventus expects exploration activity during the earn-in period to commence in the first quarter of this year to include further geochemical studies and drilling of high priority targets.
This decision is subject to the approval of the Irish Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
The Rathkeale, Kingscourt and Fermoy project carry a combined 33 prospecting licences.
Once South32 has completed its funding obligations, the company may elect to acquire a 70 per cent interest in a prospecting licence area it chooses, forming a joint venture (JV) agreement in respect of the project area.