Canadian miner Midland Exploration’s subsidiary Midland Base Metals has entered into a strategic alliance with BHP subsidiary Rio Algom to fund the nickel exploration activities in northern Quebec, Canada.

The alliance aims to identify, test and develop high-quality exploration targets towards the discovery of new nickel deposits within a large area of interest (AOI).

Under the first phase, BHP will fund 100% of Midland’s exploration for nickel within the Nunavik territory up to C$1.4m ($1.06m), on an annual basis, for at least two years.

BHP has option to propose additional exploration work

Moreover, BHP will have the option to propose additional exploration work for C$700,000 ($530,736) prior to advancing an identified project to the second phase.

In a press statement, Midland Exploration said: “Following the first phase, one or more specific exploration targets may be advanced to a second phase to be further developed as a separate designated project.”

BHP and Midland Exploration will form a formal joint venture (JV) in the third phase. BHP will have a 70% stake in the JV while Midland will own the remaining 30% interest.

Midland Exploration stated: “For each JV project, BHP will pay to Midland a joint venture success fee of C$200,000 ($151,639) after the formation of the joint venture, including the transfer of tenements, data ownership and any other assets related to the JV project to, or for the benefit of, the joint venture.”

Recently, BHP Group said it is considering selling its 50% stake in the Bass Strait oil and gas operations offshore Australia.

The decision is part of its efforts to continue optimising its petroleum portfolio by offloading its later life assets.