South Africa-based gold mining company Gold Fields has agreed to earn an interest of 75% in Great Southern Mining (GSN)’s Edinburgh Park gold-copper-silver project located in Queensland, Australia.

In this regard, G Ex Australia, a fully owned subsidiary of Gold Fields, has signed a binding option and joint venture agreement with Great Southern Mining.

Under the terms of the earn-in agreement, the South Africa-based gold mining company will finance up to A$15m ($9.62m) towards exploration for a period of six years. A minimum of A$2.5m ($1.6m) has to be spent by the company within the initial two years.

Besides, Gold Fields will subscribe for nearly 38.5 million ordinary shares in Great Southern Mining. It will represent a 5.4% stake in the latter.

The South African firm is also said to have identified several targets within the Edinburgh Park project.

Gold Fields expects drill testing at the project to start after the northern Queensland wet season in 2024.

Located about 130km south of the city of Townsville, the Edinburgh Park project comprises nine granted exploration licences and two exploration licence applications, that span an area of 1,750km2.

The project is situated near the Mt Carlton gold-silver-copper mine, which has generated about 1.7 million ounces of gold equivalent.

The Edinburgh Park project is said to have the potential for several large-scale mineralisation styles, including gold-copper porphyries, high and low sulphidation epithermal gold-silver-copper systems, and intrusive related gold.

Through the collaboration with Gold Fields, the Australia-listed Great Southern Mining intends to accelerate the exploration process and explore the potential of the Edinburgh Park project.

Furthermore, the earn-in agreement will enable Great Southern Mining to focus its resources on other projects, including the Duketon gold project and the East Laverton nickel-gold project in Western Australia.

Great Southern Mining managing director Matthew Keane said: “This Earn-in validates our belief that the project has potential to host Tier One mineral deposits. We regard Gold Fields as an ideal partner having a track record of discovering and operating large-scale porphyry, epithermal and IRG deposits.

“The Company is also pleased to welcome Gold Fields as a substantial shareholder. The funds received from the subscription will help to accelerate exploration of GSN’s WA projects.”