Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) is courting Hammer Metals (ASX: HMX) over its Mount Isa copper-gold project in Queensland after agreeing to spend $6 million on exploration to lock-in a 60% interest.
Under the agreement, JOGMEC can earn a 60% stake in 290 square kilometres of the 2,200sq km project by spending $6 million by 31 March 2024
This will give JOGMEC access to the project’s Even Steven, Mount Philip, Dronfield West and Malbon targets, which are considered prospective for iron oxide copper gold mineralisation – similar to the Ernest Henry deposit which has a resource of 220 million tonnes at 1.1% copper and 0.5 grams per tonne gold.
As part of the deal, JOGMEC must also spend at least $1 million on the project by 31 March next year.
“The Hammer team is excited that JOGMEC shares our vision that a large tonnage iron-oxide copper gold deposit such as Ernest Henry is present within out Mount Isa project area,” Hammer managing director Daniel Thomas said.
“The increased exploration funding allows a focussed and accelerated exploration program at Mt Isa, thereby maximising the chances of success while minimising shareholder dilution.”
He added the fast-tracked program would begin “immediately”.
Exploring Mount Isa
According to Hammer, initial joint venture exploration activities will involve collecting high-quality geological, geophysical and geochemical datasets across the earn-in areas.
Once targets have been firmed up, the highest ranking will be drilled with this program scheduled to begin in the second quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, Hammer will continue exploring its wholly-owned prospects within Mount Isa including Jubilee, Koppany, Alice-Kings and Perentie.
Hammer will also push ahead with its resource development studies at the project’s Kalman deposit, which has an indicated and inferred resource of 20 million tonnes at 0.61% copper, 0.34g/t gold, 0.14% molybdenum and 3.7g/t rhenium for 360,000t of contained copper equivalent metal.
Mineralisation at Kalman remains open at depth and along strike.
Additionally, drilling at the deposit has uncovered 7.7m at 23.4% copper and 0.5g/t gold from 582m and 53m at 2.1% copper and 0.5g/t gold from 695m.