BHP Billiton share price: Miner to fund Canadian copper project
BHP Billiton Plc’s (LON:BLT) Canadian unit has signed a letter of intent to fund exploration at Aston Bay Holdings’ Storm copper project in Nunavut, Canada, Aston Bay said yesterday.
Under the terms of the letter, BHP may earn up to 75 percent interest in Storm with the project converting into a joint venture, if the Anglo-Australian miner provides at least C$40 million (£19.9 million) in exploration funding over nine years.
BHP must also provide C$2.5 million within two years, and a further C$325,000 upon signing the agreement.
BHP and Aston Bay are currently discussing terms of the final agreement, and are targeting completion during the second quarter of 2016, Vancouver-based Aston Bay said in yesterday’s release.
“We are very pleased to have attracted, as a partner, a top-tier global mining company with a track record of building and operating some of the world’s largest copper mines,” said Benjamin Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Bay. “This new partnership is a testament to the exploration potential at the Storm Copper Project.”
The Storm project is located on Somerset Island, Nunavut, covering a total of 345,033.58 acres in size and hosting “a large area of carbonate-hosted copper mineralisation” as well as a zone of zinc mineralisation. The property has good access to shipping lanes, and the landscape provides favourable conditions for a road and protected deep-water port, Aston Bay says.
“Aston Bay believes the Storm project holds significant potential,” the company says on its website, noting that “high-grade copper with significant intersections is unusual”.
BHP’s share price had dropped 1.38 percent to 670.20p as of 09:19 GMT today, underperforming the FTSE 100 which had gained about one percent. In the year-to-date, BHP’s stock is about 12 percent in the red, which compares with a four-percent drop for the FTSE 100.
As of 09:27 GMT, Friday, 29 January, BHP Billiton plc share price is 685.50p.