TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Chinese metals group Jinchuan Mining will become a partner on Tanzanian Royalty Exploration's Kabanga nickel properties, in northwestern Tanzania, the TSX-listed junior reported on Wednesday.
Jinchuan signed an option agreement with Beijing Songshanheli Mining Investment, which held the properties under an exclusive agreement with Tanzanian Royalty, and has agreed to act as operator and “hold complete financial responsibility” for all exploration activities on the nickel exploration licenses, Tanzanian Royalty said in a statement.
“The joint participation of these two respected Chinese companies in our Kabanga project is tangible recognition of the potential of this emerging nickel belt and the prospects for further discoveries," said CEO James Sinclair.
The two Chinese joint-venture partners will hold the right to earn a 100% interest in the Kabanga nickel properties for time-sensitive payments, including staged exploration expenditures.
Tanzanian Royalty will also be granted a 30-year, 3% net smelter royalty upon the properties achieving commercial production.
Tanzanian Royalty's Kabanga properties comprise a project area of 4 200 km2, with targets for nickel, cobalt and platinum-group metal mineralisation.
The project area is situated to the north of the high grade Kabanga nickel deposit, which is currently under development by a joint venture consisting of Barrick and Xstrata.
Exploration work on the nickel licenses is expected to begin early this year, and Tanzanian Royalty will assist Jinchuan and Beijing Songshanheli in a number of areas, including with government relations, license maintenance, corporate filings and the importing of heavy equipment.