TSX-V-listed Lion Copper and Gold has secured Rio Tinto’s backing for the Mason Valley project, where it last week also initiated the environmental permitting process with the US Bureau of Land Management as a first stop in formalising permitting efforts.
The parties on Wednesday announced an agreement on the scope of the Stage 1 programme of work referenced in the March 2022 option agreement.
With this milestone achieved, Rio Tinto will provide Lion with $3.75-million for Mason Valley development, exploration and other agreed-upon corporate purposes.
The funds will be used for permitting and baseline studies, metallurgical testing of MacArthur and Yerington samples, engineering scoping studies and a drilling programme to evaluate sulphide growth potential.
Liono said it had delivered a bulk metallurgical sample to Rio Tinto’s Nuton labs, where metallurgical testing and optimisation studies were being undertaken on oxide, transitional and sulphide material sourced from both deposits.
“We appreciate having quickly attained Stage 1 agreement with Rio Tinto’s Nuton team and look forward to further advancing the MacArthur and Yerington projects.
“Our first emphasis on environmental permitting reflects our shared values in ESG and local stakeholder engagement.
“We value Rio Tinto’s support of our goal to advance the MacArthur project, Yerington and our other Mason Valley assets with the potential use of Nuton technology toward the domestic production of copper with low carbon impact,” said CEO Travis Naugle.