Rio Tinto has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Sipa Resources for an 80pc stake in the latter’s copper-gold Paterson North mine in Western Australia.
The project is 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Rio’s Winu copper mine. Several other firms, including Newcrest Mining and Antipa Minerals, are currently exploring this area for mineralization.
Rio Tinto has agreed to invest $12mn in this JV, out of which $3mn will be invested in the next 2.5 years.
Pip Darvall, Sipa’s managing director, said that the partnership exhibits both the “enormous potential” of the site as well as Sipa’s expertise in mine expoloration.
The agreement will also give Rio Tinto access to Sipa’s Great Sandy project which houses similar metallic deposits.