Australian gold exploration company AuTECO Minerals has agreed to purchase the Green Bay copper-gold project in Newfoundland, Canada, for a total consideration of around A$65m ($42m).

AuTECO has submitted a bid for Rambler Group, under the sale and investment solicitation process ordered by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, in March this year.

The bid includes the cancellation of all outstanding issued capital in the Rambler Group, and issuance of new shares in the company, and a reverse vesting order (RVO).

AuTECO will provide A$35m in cash, along with A$15m worth of shares in the company, amounting to around 600 million shares.

The acquisition is expected to AuTECO as a significant copper company, with Green Bay’s resources at 811,000t of contained metal at an outstanding grade of 2.1% CuEq2.

AuTECO managing director Steve Parsons said: “Green Bay is a rare and outstanding acquisition opportunity which had only come about because the company which owned it had been placed in the Canadian-equivalent of administration.

“It is very rare for a copper asset of this size and grade with a resource of this magnitude and such immense growth potential to come up anywhere in the world, let alone in a tier-one mining location like the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The potential to grow the mineral resource quickly is abundantly clear, with extensive high-grade mineralisation intersected down-plunge and highly promising exploration upside in positions parallel and along strike from the existing resource.”

The Green Bay project is located in the Baie Verte district of north-east Newfoundland, Canada.

It comprises the Ming Mine and Nugget Pond processing facility, previously operated by Rambler Metals and Mining Canada.

The Ming deposit is a high-grade copper-gold Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposit located ~9km east of the township of Baie Verte.

It includes an upper zone of multiple tabular copper-gold-rich sulphide horizons underlain by an extensive broad copper stockwork zone, known as the Lower Footwall Zone (LFWZ).

The Ming deposit currently holds 30.2Mt resource at 1.81% copper, 0.4g/t gold and 2.7g/t silver for 811,000 tonnes CuEq.3

The Nugget Pond processing facility is a 500,000t per annum plant that contains a conventional circuit that produces a high-quality concentrate typically grading 29% copper.

The facility features a crushing and grinding circuit made up of a two-stage jaw crusher, a semi-autogenous grind (SAG) and a ball mill, said AuTECO.

Parsons added: “Our initial focus will be solely on growing the resource as quickly as possible. We believe this is where the immediate value uplift for shareholders will arise. That’s why we have already planned 40,000m of diamond drilling.

“An increased resource is also the pathway to longer mine life and increased production rates, which will in turn significantly boost the project’s economic outlook and the returns for all stakeholders.”