Australian firm Newcrest Mining has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with UK-based Greatland Gold for the Havieron gold-copper project located in Western Australia’s Paterson Province.

The Havieron gold-copper project is located 45km east of the Newcrest Mining-owned Telfer gold-copper mine, and 500km east of rail and port infrastructure at Port Hedland.

The JV agreement, which provides a formal framework beyond the existing farm-in agreement between the firms, facilitates the expansion of exploration and early work activities, including the construction of a boxcut and decline.

Newcrest Mining said it is entitled to earn an additional 20% interest in the JV, bringing its overall JV interest to 60% as it met its Stage 3 expenditure requirement at the Havieron project.

Newcrest to provide $50m loan to Greatland Gold

As per the newly formed JV agreement, Newcrest has agreed to provide $50m loan to Greatland Gold to fund early works and drilling at Havieron project.

Newcrest earlier agreed to acquire up to 70% joint venture interest, subject to an investment of $65m and deliver a pre-feasibility study for the project.

To further presence in the prospective Paterson province, Newcrest Mining has created a farm-in and JV agreement with Greatland Gold, named the Juri JV, for the latter’s Black Hills and Paterson Range East exploration licenses.

The new joint venture covers an area of approximately 248km2.

The agreement grants Newcrest with an initial 25% stake in the joint venture with the potential to increase the stake to up to 75%. This is subject to funding A$20m ($14.7m) worth of exploration over a five year period.

Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas said: “We are excited to extend our relationship with Greatland Gold and expand our presence in the highly prospective Paterson Province.

“The Havieron Joint Venture and Loan Agreements support the continued progress at Havieron with the potential to deliver commercial production within two to three years from the commencement of the decline.

“The Juri Joint Venture complements our strong pipeline of exploration prospects and the associated tenements are favourably located in close proximity to our established Telfer operation.”