Coppermoly's (ASX: COY) farm-in partner Barrick (PNG Exploration), a subsidiary of global heavyweight Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX), will invest A$2.2 million in the remaining half of 2012 on exploration to advance three highly prospective tenements in Papua New Guinea.
Barrick currently holds a 72% interest in EL1043 (Nakru), EL 1445 (Talelumas) and EL 1077 (Simuku) located in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, while Coppermoly holds a 28% interest.
Importantly, this multi-million dollar commitment means Coppermoly will be free carried through the next stage of exploration over the tenements, eliminating any immediate term exploration funding uncertainty.
Barrick has previously advised Coppermoly that it intends to commence a process to engage with market participants for the purpose of divesting its interest in the tenements.
The company has conducted a considerable amount of exploration on the tenements, and earned its interest through a farm-in by spending $20 million.
The 2012 exploration program will include exploration and drilling to begin as soon as possible. Drilling is aimed at targeting the higher grade secondary copper enrichment zones at Nakru-1 and Simuku.
The Simuku Project, which includes the Simuku and Talelumas exploration licences, currently has an Inferred Resource of 200 million tonnes at 0.36% copper, 61 parts per million molybdenum, 0.06 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 2g/t silver, with an upgrade scheduled for completion in late July.
At the Nakru project, an exploration target of 50 to 60 million tonnes grading 0.7-0.9% copper has been set for the Nakru-1 copper-gold system.
This system is the most advanced prospect within the tenement.
Coppermoly is nearing the completion of a maiden Inferred Resource for the Nakru-1 prospect, with results expected in July.
Peter Swiridiuk, managing director of Coppermoly, said the company is making good progress on the Nakru-1 maiden Resource.
"Although its geological interpretation has delayed its progress, we expect results to be made available to the market over the coming weeks.
"In addition, the conceptual mining study for Nakru-1 is nearing completion with results expected in August.
"We also have three large tenements under application on New Britain Island which can be progressed once granted in the near future."
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