Rinehart’s Hanrine to join Titan Minerals in Ecuadorian copper hunt

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By Colin Hay - 
Titan Minerals Hanrine Linderos copper Ecuador

Titan Minerals (ASX: TTM) has executed a letter of offer to enter a joint venture (JV) partnership with Hancock Prospecting’s Ecuadorian subsidiary Hanrine to explore the promising Linderos copper project.

Under the term sheet, Ecuadorian Exploration and Mining can acquire up to an 80% ownership interest in Linderos by outlaying up to $180 million.

The proposed transaction is subject to the execution of formal binding documents and the completion of Hanrine’s due diligence investigations.

Underscores confidence

Titan chief executive officer Melanie Leighton said the potential participation of a major global miner was a significant breakthrough and underscores the company’s confidence in the project’s world-class potential.

“This JV deal is an excellent outcome for Titan shareholders,” she said.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with […] Hanrine, who has both the balance sheet and capability to fully explore and develop the Linderos Project.”

“The agreement represents a fantastic endorsement of our belief in the Linderos Project’s potential to host a large-scale copper porphyry system.”

“Hanrine clearly sees the opportunity for large-scale copper, both at the Linderos copper project and in Ecuador, an emerging mining jurisdiction, having made considerable investment into exploration in Ecuador over recent years.”

Earn-in terms

The proposed earn-in and JV terms comprise a number of key milestones including an initial $3.1m payment to Titan to earn an initial 5% stake.

Hanrine can then undertake 10,000 metres of drilling or further expenditure of around $12.4m to earn an additional 25%.

After 15,000m of drilling, or further expenditure of around $18.6m, Hanrine may earn an additional 21%.

Once Hanrine has earned 51%, it will pay Titan an additional $1.5 million.

Upon a decision to mine being made, or if total expenditure of around $180m is achieved, Hanrine will earn an additional 29%, taking its total earn-in to 80%.

Linderos upside

Located in southern Ecuador, the Linderos project is comprised of four contiguous mineral concessions totalling an area of 143 square kilometres.

Most exploration at Linderos has so far been completed at the Copper Ridge porphyry and Meseta gold prospects.

Titan undertook a maiden campaign of eight diamond drill holes for 3,700m in 2022 at Copper Ridge, successfully confirming broad zones of copper porphyry mineralisation from shallow depths.

Notably, six out of the eight holes ended in mineralisation, highlighting strong potential for both lateral and depth extensions there.

In 2023, Titan conducted an induced polarisation (IP) geophysical survey over the Copper Ridge prospect, with 3D IP inversion modelling revealing a much larger porphyry system than previously recognised in surface mapping, geochemistry and drilling at the prospect.

Titan’s in-depth development of a 3D IP inversion model revealed that the Copper Ridge porphyry system manifests beneath the Meseta gold prospect, confirming the potential for Copper Ridge to host a much larger porphyry system.