Diversified major BHP has struck a deal to hunt for copper in Serbia, where it now has a right to earn into three exploration areas in the Timok region.
BHP, which is honing its strategy around "future-facing commodities" such as copper, nickel and potash, will partner with Canadian project generator Mundoro Capital.
The porphyry copper projects under options with BHP are located in, and around, the Timok magmatic complex. The region is know as a mining district with more than 100 years of mining, comprising about four-billion tons in porphyry systems over five known mines.
“The Timok properties represent a district scale, attractive exploration package in this prospective mineral belt in Serbia. Our exploration team in the region has identified, in the South Timok Properties exploration area, extending south from the Timok Magmatic Complex, continuation of fertile geological units for further copper exploration,” said chief geologist Richard Jemeilita.
Mundoro CEO and president Teo Dechev added that BHP recognised the potential of further exploration in the western Tethyan belt.
Each of the three options provides BHP with the right to earn a 100% interest in the relevant Timok property by making yearly cash payments totalling $1.7-million over the three properties, over three years. The major also has to incur exploration expenditures within three years on the three properties amounting to $7.5-million. The earn-in also includes an exploration expenditure commitment related to drilling by March 2023.
Upon exercise of each option, Mundoro will retain a 2% net smelter return royalty that includes development milestone payments for a total up to $9-million and annual cash payments until commercial production commences.
Mundoro is appointed as the initial operator under the option.