NEW YORK Teck
Resources Ltd. has entered into a joint venture with Copper Fox
Metals Inc. for the Schaft Creek copper-gold exploration
project in northern British Columbia.
Teck will take a
75-percent stake in the mine project, about 16.2 miles from the
Galore Creek property, in which the company holds a 50-percent
interest, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Teck said July
"What (Copper Fox has)
explored appears prospective for eventual development, but it
needs more work to progress to a point to decide how to
proceed," a Teck spokesman told AMM. "The exploration
process can take many, many years, so we have made a commitment
to advance exploration on the property to assess ... what
further needs to be done to accelerate the process."
Under the terms of the
joint venture agreement, Teck will make an initial $20-million
payment to Copper Fox and has committed to make two additional
$20-million payments. The first follows a decision to bring the
property into production and the second will be made after the
completion of mine construction. It has also agreed to pay $60
million to fund costs prior to making the decision to bring
Schaft Creek into production. If the initial pre-production
costs exceed $60 million, Teck will also pay 25 percent of the
Copper Fox, also based
in Vancouver, will hold 25 percent of the Schaft Creek project.
The company expects to complete the environmental assessment
application and environmental impact statement in the third
quarter of 2013, Copper Fox said on its website.
The new joint-venture
agreement voids a 2002 option agreement shared between the two
companies whereby Copper Fox received an interest in the Schaft
Teck is planning a
6.2-mile drilling program at Schaft Creek in 2013 that is
focused on exploration, potential resource expansion and
Schaft Creek is forecast to be an open-pit mine with a
21-year life and anticipated production of 4.88 billion pounds
of copper, 4.21 million ounces of gold, 25.1 million ounces of
silver and 214.92 million pounds of molybdenum.