Celsius Resources (ASX: CLA) is acquiring a suite of copper-gold projects in the Central Cordilla region of the Philippines including an advanced high-grade copper deposit that revealed wide mineralised zones when drilled by a previous owner.
The company said recent changes to legislation and governance in the Philippines is now making the country an attractive investment destination.
This is the second big move by Celsius this year, following the acquisition of gold ground in the Lachlan Fold Belt in New South Wales.
The Philippine projects are owned by a British private company Anleck, which will become a significant shareholder in Celsius and provide board members and management to continue developing the projects in the island of Luzon, about 320km north of Manila.
The known deposit was drilled between 2006 and 2013 by a subsidiary of the multinational miner Freeport McMoRan.
Some $14.5 million was spent on the project and records show multiple assays, including 767m at 0.77% copper and 0.27 grams per tonne gold (from 30m), 630.5m at 0.81% copper and 0.32g/t gold, and 612m at 0.82% copper and 0.31g/t gold.
Work begins on maiden JORC resource
A maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate is now in progress and is expected to be reported once the in-country COVID-19 quarantine restrictions are relaxed to allow access to the site.
Anleck will initially receive 100 million fully paid ordinary shares in Celsius, half of which will be subject to a buy-back and cancellation right.
A further 100 million shares will be issued in two tranches, subject to the project obtaining agreements with the Philippine government and the completion of the definitive feasibility study.
Celsius chairman Bill Oliver described the Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) project as “transformative” for Celsius, with his company acquiring “an advanced project in two commodities that are anticipated to be highly sought after in coming years”.
“Recent changes to legislation and governance in the Philippines means that [the country} is emerging as an attractive investment destination and its well-known copper and gold endowment is likely to encourage further parties into an already active mining sector,” he added.
The JORC estimate will be followed by the commissioning of a scoping study.
Adds to prime gold target on Lachlan belt
At the beginning of June, Celsius picked up historic gold ground on the Lachlan Fold Belt of NSW that lies along strike from an adjacent recent discovery.
The company put its foot on the Cullarin West project from privately owned Syndicated Minerals in return for 20 million new shares in the listed junior.
The NSW project is adjacent to, and along strike from, the recent Cullarin discovery of 93m at 4.24g/t gold by Sky Metals (ASX: SKY).
Celsius said an initial desktop review, including a site visit, indicated the project is underlain by similar geological and structural features to those that host the Cullarin deposit. The project includes the historical Gooda Creek and Daltons goldfields.