AngloGold Ashanti Australia, a fully owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, has signed a definitive multiple-phase earn-in and joint venture (JV) agreement with Kincora Copper for the latter’s Northern Junee-Narromine Belt (NJNB) project in Australia.

Located 525km to 575km northwest of Sydney in Central New South Wales, the NJNB project portfolio includes the Nyngan, Nevertire, and Mulla licences.

Under the terms of the agreement, AngloGold Ashanti Australia will have to spend up to A$50m ($33.3m) to earn an 80% interest in the Nyngan (exploration licence 8929) and Nevertire (exploration licence 8960) projects through two phases.

In the first phase, AngloGold Ashanti can earn an initial interest of 70% by incurring a total expenditure of A$25 ($16.66m) on exploration within a seven-year earn-in period. Following this, a JV would be established.

AngloGold Ashanti will have to spend at least A$2m ($1.33m) within the first two years as per the terms.

During phase 2 of the agreement, AngloGold Ashanti can earn a further 10% stake by completing a pre-feasibility study (PFS) or by financing an additional A$25m ($16.66m) of expenditure over the next three years.

The NJNB portfolio includes what Kincora Copper considers the most promising and moderately explored part of the well-known northern extension of the Junee-Narromine Belt in the Macquarie Arc.

In the southern section of the Macquarie Arc, over 160 million ounces of gold equivalent have been delineated.

Kincora Copper technical committee chair John Holliday and exploration vice president Peter Leaman said: “This is virgin exploration territory and a major opportunity with huge upside offering Cadia-scale discovery potential.

“AngloGold, a successful greenfield explorer, is already investing in the belt with drilling programmes on neighbouring projects and clearly shares our view of the NJNB having the potential to yield a new district of Tier-1 gold rich copper porphyry system discoveries.

“We look forward to commencing on the ground exploration and testing a pipeline of large-scale targets across both the Nyngan and Nevertire licences.”