American Pacific Mining has regained 100% ownership and control of the Madison copper-gold project in the US from Kennecott Exploration, a subsidiary of the Rio Tinto Group.

This development follows the decision by Kennecott Exploration to terminate the 11-year Madison earn-in agreement it signed with American Pacific, which aimed to secure up to a 70% interest in the project.

Located in Montana, the high-grade, past-producing copper-gold project was acquired by American Pacific Mining in 2020.

The Madison project covers 2,514 acres with six patented lode claims and 108 unpatented mineral claims. It is permitted for mining, surface, and underground exploration.

The small-scale production at the American copper-gold project was concluded in 2012 with 2.7 million pounds of copper produced at grades ranging from 20-35% copper.

American Pacific Mining aims to proceed with the 2024 drill programme as planned in collaboration with Kennecott Exploration.

The programme has been designed to incorporate drill holes within the skarn, with the objective to verify and expand upon the mineralisation encountered in previous drilling.

Furthermore, the 2024 drilling campaign will include one to two shallow drill holes within a regional target area that is yet to be tested since the conclusion of geophysical surveys.

American Pacific Mining CEO Warwick Smith said: “We would have naturally liked to see the partnership continue with Rio funding exploration more aggressively, but given the dynamics of the underlying option term and Rio’s broader corporate priorities, regaining 100% control of the Madison Project is a positive development, as it provides American Pacific with an excellent opportunity to advance the Project more rapidly with shareholders now having 100% exposure to new drill results and Project success.”