Canadian Mining Journal


Aston inks potential exploration deal with BHP

BHP Billiton’s (NYSE: BHP; LON: BLT) Canadian subsidiary has signed a letter of intent to fund exploration on Aston Bay Holdings’ (TSXV: BAY) Storm copper property in Somerset Island, Nunavut.

Aston’s CEO Benjamin Cox says the partnership demonstrates the potential of the Storm project on the 2,595 km2 property, which also hosts the Seal zinc-silver project.

Under the terms of the preliminary deal, BHP could earn a 75% in the property by spending at least $40 million on exploration within nine years. That includes a minimum of $2.5 million within two years of signing a definitive deal. Once finalized, Aston will receive $325,000 and will not need to spend on exploration for four years. The two companies anticipate concluding the deal in the second quarter.

The partnership will greatly benefit the Vancouver-based junior explorer, which has done as much as it could with its limited funds on the large property in the current market downturn.

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