WESTERN Australian nickel miner, Mincor, has sought to expand its geographic footprint and diversify its operations with A$30 million (K77 million) deal targeting gold and copper in Papua New Guinea, The Western Australian newspaper reported yesterday, The National reports.
Under the terms of the deal with PNG-focused, unlisted explorer Niuminco, Mincor will spend A$15 million in exploration at the Eddie Creek gold project to earn a 51% interest and a further A$15 million (K38.5 million) to earn up to s 72 % interest in three exploration licences in the country.
The Eddie Creek project is located between gold fields of giant Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu mines currently under development by Morobe Mining Joint-Venture.
Mincor may also subscribe for A$5 million (K12.5 million) worth of shares as part of a capital raising by DSF International Holdings, which is buying out Niuminco.
DSF is an Australian security exchange-listed company which has been suspended from trading.
The new listed entity will be renamed Niuminco.
"The A$30 million transaction represents the most significant new business development initiative undertaken by Mincor since its successful acquisition of the Otter Juan nickel mine in 2007," Mincor said in a statement.
Mincor managing director David Moore said the venture would offer the company some of the best prospects in PNG for world-class deposits.
He said Mincor had established a strong rapport with Niuminco/DSF, and believed that their extensive experience in PNG would be of great value to the joint venture in the years to come.
Mincor shares closed A$0.04 or 3.33% lower to A$1.01 at the end of trading yesterday.