ASX-listed Kopore Metals has struck an agreement to sell 75% of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alvis-Crest to AIM-listed ARC Minerals. Perth-based Kopore says the all-scrip deal will help facilitate ongoing exploration at Alvis-Crest’s Virgo copper project in Botswana, southern Africa.
Alvis-Crest holds two prospecting licences that cover the Virgo ground in the revered Kalahari copper belt in Botswana within 25 kilometres of Cupric Canyon Capital’s Zone 5 copper-silver mine, which is currently under construction. Virgo also lies north-east and along strike of
Sandfire Resources’ developing T3 copper-silver project about 75 km to the south-west. Kopore will receive £1.2 million worth of ARC shares for the sale of Virgo. ARC will assume sole funding responsibilities for Alvis-Crest up to a final investment decision, which will be subsequent to a bankable feasibility study being undertaken by ARC.
ARC has agreed to spend a minimum of US$200,000 a year on exploration and resource definition drilling across a rolling three-year period prior to a final investment decision being made. It also has an option to acquire the remaining 25% of Alvis-Crest for an additional US$5 million in cash or ARC shares or a combination of both. As part of the deal, Kopore picks up a one per cent net smelter royalty over the Virgo project, capped at a maximum of US$30 million.
“We anticipate that having people and infrastructure in southern Africa will allow ARC to progress exploration at the Virgo project much quicker than Kopore would have been able to do as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the international and regional movement of people and other assets.
We are excited to have copper exploration projects in two of the world’s most sought-after jurisdictions given market indications that we are in the early months of what we think could potentially be a copper supercycle.” -Kopore Metals Managing Director, Simon Jackson
Being effectively free carried to a BFS with no dilution at Virgo allows Kopore to now focus on its remaining 3,592 square kilometres of exploration licences in Botswana at its Ghanzi West copper project and at the Horseshoe West copper project in Western Australia. Kopore says it continues to reprocess historical airborne electromagnetic data derived from Ghanzi West, which also straddles the same structural corridor as Sandfire’s T3 copper-silver project approximately 150 km to the north-east. The outcome of Kopore’s reappraisal work will dictate future exploration programs at Ghanzi West, which sits not far from the Namibian border.
Ore reserves at the T3 deposit, acquired through Sandfire’s takeover of MOD Resources, currently weigh in at 40 million tonnes grading an average 0.9% copper and 12.2 grams per tonne silver for 360,000 tonnes of contained copper and 15.6 million ounces of contained silver. The proposed US$260 million development of T3 has been given the go-ahead by Sandfire, who plans to kick off construction in the current financial year as it aims for production start-up in the 2023 financial year.
According to Sandfire’s T3 definitive feasibility study, annual copper and silver output has been forecast to average about 30,000 tonnes and 1.2 million ounces respectively across the first decade of operations.
Kopore will no doubt be hoping that some of the interest in the Sandfire juggernaut rubs off as the junior explorer looks to eke out its own economic deposit in the mineral-rich region.