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.

MinRes confirms buying stake in Aquila

Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) has confirmed its acquisition of 52,640,248 shares in Aquila Resources (ASX: AQA).

MinRes announced a takeover bid for Aquila in May, before which it said it had already invested time developing a business case to deliver a fit for purpose solution for the West Pilbara iron ore project (WPIOP).

MinRes said it has now finalised its total mine to port development plan for the WPIOP (which includes all processing and mine related infrastructure as well as the supply chain through to shiploading) and is prepared to enter discussions with the project stakeholders with a view to entering lump sum contracts for construction and delivery of the port and rail infrastructure and build, own and operate arrangements in respect of the development and operation of the mines on attractive terms relative to the project parameters released by Aquila in October 2012.

“Mineral Resources has the proven ability to develop world class, large scale iron ore projects on a fixed cost basis in the shortest possible time,” Mineral Resources managing director Chris Ellison said.

“We are confident that we can play an important role in delivering the WPIOP on attractive terms through building the port and other infrastructure for the project and build, own and operate arrangements in respect of the mine, which we have successfully employed previously.

“We have the financial capacity to make a meaningful capital contribution towards the development of the project and will now proceed to engage with all major stakeholders including Aquila and Baosteel to facilitate the best outcome possible.

“The board of Mineral Resources also considers that our involvement in the WPIOP is an outstanding opportunity to secure additional long term build own operate contracting opportunities for our core contracting businesses.”

Phar Lap IOCG project – MOU with Antofagasta

Monax Mining (ASX:MOX) has signed an MOU with a wholly-owned subsidiary of major Chilean copper producer Antofagasta for the Phar Lap Iron-Oxide Copper-Gold (IOCG) Project, located on the margin of the Mt Woods Inlier in northern South Australia.

Monax announced its acquisition of a 100 per cent interest in the Phar Lap tenement in January 2012.

In 2008, an extensive geophysical program was conducted over the project which included airborne magnetic, radiometric, electromagnetic and ground gravity data.

A review of all data outlined two prominent IOCG-style anomalies.

Comparative 3D inversion modelling has demonstrated that key characteristics of the Phar Lap data (anomaly PLDD002) are very similar to those generated within available data over the Carrapateena deposit; in density volume product, density contrast, dimensions and depth.

Under the MOU, Antofagasta will fund early stage exploration including access approvals and a detailed infill gravity survey over the two anomalies.

Antofagasta may then elect to proceed to a Farm-In Agreement to earn 70 per cent interest in the tenement by funding exploration to a value of US$2 million within three years.

An Aboriginal Heritage clearance and gravity survey are planned for July-August 2014.