Adventus Mining and Salazar Resources have signed agreements with Wheaton Precious Metals and Trafigura to secure $235m funding to advance and build the Curipamba copper project in central Ecuador.

Located approximately 150km northeast of the major port city of Guayaquil. Curipamba is forecast to have a 10-year open-pit mine life and a potential to transition into an underground mine subsequent to the open pit.

Alliance Metals International, a subsidiary of Adventus Mining, has signed a precious metal purchase agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wheaton for the project.

Under the terms of the agreement, Wheaton International will pay total upfront cash consideration of $175.5m to Adventus.

The agreement allows the company to purchase 50% of the payable gold production referenced from the Curipamba project. Upon the completion of the delivery of 150,000 ounces of refined gold, the purchase will drop to 33% for the life of mine.

Wheaton International will also buy 75% of the payable silver production from the project. The purchase will drop to 50% for the life of mine once 4.6 million ounces of refined silver have been delivered.

Wheaton’s president and CEO Randy Smallwood said: “Wheaton has had a successful long-term partnership with Adventus and welcomes the opportunity to support the development of a project the caliber of Curipamba.

“Forecasted to be a high quality, low-cost mine with significant exploration potential, Curipamba’s profile aligns well with Wheaton’s accretive growth strategy.

“Adventus has a strong entrepreneurial reputation and shares Wheaton’s vision that responsible mining should benefit all stakeholders, including support for the communities around the mines.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with Adventus and shared success in Curipamba.”

In addition, Adventus Mining has entered into a binding engagement for an offtake financing agreement with Trafigura for the project.

The $55m financial commitment from Trafigura consists of $45m senior debt facility, including $5m early deposit for pre-construction activities.

Comprising seven mineral concessions representing nearly 21,500ha, the Curipamba project includes the advanced high-grade copper-gold El Domo deposit, which is a flat-lying tabular shaped VMS deposit, with mineralisation beginning at 30 metres from surface.