Luminex Resources has signed an agreement for an earn-in and joint venture with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) for its Orquideas mineral concession in Ecuador.

Under the agreement, JOGMEC holds the right to invest an aggregate $7m between now and 31 March 2026 to purchase a 70% ownership stake in Orquideas.

Hosted in phases of the mid Jurassic Zamora Batholith, Orquideas is a porphyry copper and molybdenum mineralised system.

The exploration project is situated 40km south of Lundin Gold’s Fruta Del Norte epithermal gold and silver mine, as well as up to 15km southwest of Luminex’s Condor project that consists of epithermal gold, silver, gold and copper porphyry resources.

The geochemical footprint of Orquidea is said to extend northwest by southeast for 5.5km and 2km wide.

Luminex Resources CEO and director Marshall Koval said: “The Company is pleased to partner with JOGMEC and is happy to see that additional drilling will be completed on this property.

“This earn-in agreement continues Luminex’s strategy of looking for high caliber partners to de-risk its large portfolio of properties in Ecuador.

“With BHP drilling Tarqui now, Anglo American planning to start drilling by mid-year and JOGMEC drilling during Q1, it will be an extremely active year on the Company’s copper focused projects.”

Luminex, which will manage and operate Orquideas exploration programmes, will receive a management fee based on expenses.

During the first quarter of this year, Luminex intends to create trails and access to the proposed drill sites. Later, the company will begin a 2,500m initial drill programme across five planned holes.

The work programme is expected to fulfill the JOGMEC earn-in commitment to 2023.