Emmerson Resources and Tennant Consolidated Mining Group (TCMG) have extended their joint venture with the addition of the Southern Project Area (SPA) of the Tennant Creek gold project in Australia.

In November last year, Emmerson terminated the exploration earn-in and joint venture agreement with Territory Resources (TRL) over the SPA, which is said to be highly prospective for high-grade gold deposits.

Under the earn-in agreement, TCMG will provide A$5($3.8m) of exploration expenditure within five years to earn a 75% equity interest in the SPA.

During the earn-in phase, Emmerson will remain operator and manager of the site.

Emmerson and TCMG have already set up a joint venture for the Northern Project Area of the Tennant Creek project.

Emmerson managing director Rob Bills said: “TCMG have demonstrated a track record of meeting their JV commitments and continue to be a valued partner that is working with Emmerson to rapidly recommence gold production and development of the Tennant Creek Mineral Field.

“In parallel, TCMG has consolidated several other projects in the Tennant Creek region and intends to unlock value through building a large, central, modern processing facility. The location and size of this new facility is the subject of current studies.”

The agreements reached by the two companies also include delineation of an approximate 20,000km2 area of mutual interest centred on Tennant Creek targeted at future exploration or acquisitions.

The completion of the earn-in phase enables to form the joint venture, where Emmerson will be allowed to elect to maintain its equity position in the SPA.

As part of the alliance, Emmerson and TCMG have also entered into mining joint ventures over the SPA at Tennant Creek. Through the joint ventures, the companies aim to fast-track production from the existing high-grade gold projects and new mines.

The Tennant Creek mineral field is one of Australia’s highest-grade gold and copper fields.

According to the Emmerson, the mineral field has produced over 5.5Moz of gold and 470,000t of copper from deposits including Warrego, White Devil, Orlando, Gecko, Chariot, and Golden Forty.