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Arc Exploration to acquire Cue Copper Project

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Arc Exploration Ltd has executed a binding Heads of Agreement (Agreement) to acquire 100% of the issued capital of Cyprium Australia Pty Ltd (Cyprium) (the Transaction). Cyprium is a privately owned Australian mineral exploration company founded by Gary Comb, Barry Cahill, Wayne Apted, Peter van Luyt and their advisors. Pursuant to an agreement between Cyprium and Musgrave Minerals Ltd (MGV), MGV has granted Cyprium an option (Option) to earn-in and joint venture for an 80% interest in the non-gold rights over the tenements at the Cue Copper Project (Project) (Option Agreement).

The Cue Copper Project

The Project is located in the Murchison region of Western Australia which is host to a number of Volcanic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits. VMS deposits are noted to occur in clusters when in favourable geological settings such as those in the Project area. The Exploration leases and Mining Licenses currently held by MGV are located approximately 20 km to the east of Cue in Western Australia.

The Project contains the Hollandaire VMS copper resource. Hollandaire mineralisation is open to the southwest and at depth. The preliminary exploration data has identified a number of high priority targets and drilling will be conducted (assuming the Option is exercised) at Hollandaire and Hollandaire West to determine the extent of the open mineralisation. In conjunction with the resource extension drilling, ARX (assuming the Option is exercised) will prioritise its other exploration drill targets and optimise feasibility study activities in order to maximise the project economics.

Technical overview

The Hollandaire copper resource was discovered in 2011 by Silver Lake Resources Ltd and a maiden Mineral Resource estimate was estimated in 2013. ARC Exploration Ltd believes there is potential to upgrade the remaining inferred material to indicated and to identify further mineralisation as the sulfide lodes are open down dip/plunge. A JORC compliant Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimate using a 0.5% copper cut-off completed by Silver Lake Resources Ltd in 2013. The Hollandaire Mineral Resource as reported by MGV in June 2015.

Hollandaire is a VMS deposit which is a style of base metal mineralisation associated with submarine volcanic hydrothermal systems. These frequently occur as clusters along favourable geological horizons as both modern and ancient polymetallic deposits. The Cue region has such favourable seafloor geological horizons consisting of felsic/mafic and metasedimentary sequences with the potential to host further VMS deposits related to or contemporaneous with the Hollandaire system.

Further exploration undertaken by MGV to identify further VMS base metal mineralisation in the project area included a Versatile Time Domain Electronic (VTEM) aerial geophysical survey in January 2016 which identified the bedrock conductors.

The conductors identified by the 2016 VTEM survey had follow up drilling and downhole electromagnetic surveys (DHEM) undertaken by MGV in 2016 and 2017 which identified VMS associated sulfide mineralisation at Mt Eelya, Hollandaire East and West, Colonel and Colonel East all of which require further exploration work to:

  • determine geological settings and relationships;
  • identify alteration and sulfide mineral assemblages and their relationships to VMS mineralisation;
  • conduct basement/bedrock geochemical testing; and
  • Design second round drill and downhole geophysical testing programmes if appropriate.

Assuming the Option is exercised, it is anticipated that this work will commence in tandem with resource extension and definition work at the Hollandaire Mineral Resource.

The programmes will be aimed at immediately increasing the resource to a size to enable project scoping and subsequent feasibility studies to be undertaken. Metallurgical testwork will be aimed at determining the most efficient treatment method for the resource and final metal production at the mine site.

Board and management changes

At completion of the Transaction, Comb will be joining the company as Non-Executive Chairman and Cahill as Executive Director. Both Comb and Cahill are experienced mining industry professionals and the current board of Arc Exploration believes their appointment will be beneficial to the future growth and development of the company with the aim to build a mid-tier copper business and continues to assess other copper projects in Australia.

Comb has over 35 years’ experience in the mining industry, most recently as Non-Executive Chairman of Finders Resources Ltd (Finders) (Comb resigned in April 2018 following Eastern Field Developments Ltd (EFD) attaining a majority shareholding in Finders) and was previously the Managing Director of Jabiru Metals Ltd where he oversaw the acquisition, feasibility study and construction of the Jaguar copper/zinc mine in Western Australia as well as the successful sale of the company to Independence Group NL.

Cahill is a mining engineer with over 30 years’ experience in exploration, mining and management throughout Australia, most recently as Managing Director of Finders (Cahill resigned in April 2018 following EFD attaining a majority shareholding in Finders). He has extensive experience in the management of all facets of mining, project development and construction.

Cahill has been an executive director of a number of public companies including Operations Director of Perilya Limited, Managing Director of Australian Mines Ltd and Managing Director of Norseman Gold Plc. He is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Current Non-Executive Directors, Nicholas Rowley and Marcello Cardaci will remain on the board. Wayne Apted will be appointed Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary and Peter van Luyt will be appointed as Chief Geologist. At completion of the Transaction it is anticipated that Simon Taylor will resign from the ARX Board. As part of the Transaction and subject to shareholder approval, the incoming Board and Management will seek approval to participate in the Capital Raising, for a minimum of AUS$500 000. It is also proposed to rename the company “Cyprium Metals Limited”.

Material Terms of the Agreement to acquire Cyprium Pursuant to the Agreement, ARX will, subject to satisfaction or waiver of conditions precedent, acquire 100% of the issued capital of Cyprium.

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