Tertiary Minerals (LON:TYM) has signed a technical cooperation agreement with First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) to increase copper exploration in Zambia. This specific deal will include the Mukai and Mushima North project by Tertiary Minerals in the north-western province of Zambia. Mushima North is adjacent to First Quantum’s Trident project, including the Sentinel copper mine and the Enterprise nickel mine. Thanks to synergies between the properties and the new agreement, both companies will be able to boost copper exploration at the properties.
Executive Chairman Patrick Cheetham said in a statement: “This agreement will turbo-charge Tertiary’s Zambian exploration in these two key licence areas. We are set to benefit from FQM’s extensive and in-depth country experience, gained over many years of exploration and mine development in Zambia.”
Tertiary and First Quantum will establish a technical committee to work together to develop the two projects, which is located in an active exploration area for First Quantum. The Mushima North exploration licence is also in an active prospecting region for First Quantum. Tertiary and First Quantum will get together and form a technical committee to collaborate on the advancement of both initiatives.
First Quantum will also advise and assist Tertiary on the project’s technical matters and provide Tertiary with all of its historical exploration data for the two licence areas. The London-based miner said the agreement will provide them with the expertise of one of the world’s biggest copper producers, without any associated cost First Quantum. In return, Tertiary added, First Quantum will gain first-hand knowledge of new discoveries made and makes the company a future development partner thanks to the agreement.
Zambia is a focus for both companies, thanks to renewed confidence in the investment climate in the country. First Quantum had production of 435,000 tonnes of copper and 128,000 oz gold at Zambian operations in 2021, and the company approved a $1.25 billion expansion of the Kansanshi copper mine that aims to boost production further.
First Quantum has also recently approved a $100 million investment in the Enterprise nickel project that is expected to start producing in 2023 and is covered by the technical agreement. The company will ramp up production at the project with the goal of producing 30,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate per year.
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