Joint Venture announcements

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: As they say in the classics; it’s better to have 50 per cent of a project than 100 per cent of no project.

Progress at Ashburton JV

Dragon Energy (ASX: DLE) and its Joint Venture partners, Shandong Energy Australia and Shandong Lunan Geo-Engineering Exploration Institute have completed Stage 1 of the farm-in and JV commitment for the Ashburton project.

The Ashburton project is located in the Ashburton basin south of the Pilbara region in Western Australia and is prospective for gold, iron and base metals mineralisation.

Both Shandong Energy and Lunan will each earn a 15 per cent interest in the project (30 per cent combined interest).

Shandong Energy and Lunan have decided to progress to Stage 2 of the project by agreeing to jointly fund an additional $700,000 of exploration expenditures.

Upon the completion of Stage 2, Shandong Energy and Luan will each earn an additional 10 per cent interest taking their combined interest in the project to 50 per cent.

Dragon confirmed the Stage 2 funds have been received in a Dragon controlled JV bank account in Australia.

Placement with Antofagasta

Monax Mining (ASX: MOX) is undertaking a $436,314 private placement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of major Chilean copper producer, Antofagasta plc.

Antofagasta will become Monax’s largest shareholder via the placement of just over 17 million shares at 2.55 cents per share.

Monax will use the funds to progress exploration at the company’s Parndana project on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, as well as for general working capital.

“We are delighted to have Antofagasta as our major shareholder,” Monax Mining managing director Gary Ferris said.

“Monax looks forward to commencing its upcoming drilling programs on the Punt Hill and Millers Creek projects under current exploration agreements with Antofagasta in the next three months.

“The placement funds provide capital for Monax’s exploration activities at its 100 per cent-owned Parndana project on Kangaroo Island, with an induced polarisation survey planned to commence within the next three weeks.”

Hillgrove acquires rights over Kitticoola copper-gold prospect

Hillgrove Resources (ASX: HGO) has signed a Deed of Assumption and Assignment to take over the Option Agreement from CN Resources over Private Mine No 53 located near Palmer, South Australia, approximately 35 kilometres from Hillgrove’s 100 per cent-owned Kanmantoo Copper Mine.

The Option Agreement with the owner of Kitticoola provides Hillgrove with the exploration rights and any potential future mining rights over the prospect, subject to certain conditions within the Option Agreement.

Hillgrove paid a nominal cash amount to CN Resources for the Rights over the prospect.

The Kitticoola Mine was operated at various times from 1846 up to 1971 as an underground gold and copper mine, producing approximately 30,000 tonnes of gold ore and 7,000 tonnes of copper ore.

More recently in 1980, CRA took underground samples at the mine which appeared to confirm grades presented by previous works.

On this basis CRA drilled four diamond holes, all of which encountered sub economic mineralisation.

During 1977 and 1981, exploration work by others evaluated remnant mineralisation with average grade of 5.24g/t gold and 0.55 per cent copper over 1.4m in the oxide zone, and 14.52g/t and 4.45 per cent copper over 1.5m in the sulphide zone.

In 2007 Hillgrove exploration geologists undertook reconnaissance and due diligence work with the permission of the private mine owner.

This work confirmed the previous publicly available information and published results in current surface workings.

Hillgrove intends to carry out initial exploration work over the next year or so to determine the possible extent and depth of the mineralisation.