Riverside Resources Inc. has entered into a $31 million exploration earn-in agreement with Minera Hochschild Mexico SA de CV., a subsidiary of Hochschild Mining PLC, for its La Union gold-silver project in Sonora, Mexico. The agreement enables the project to immediately move ahead with a robust exploration program and reflects the belief, by both parties, of the potential for rapid discovery of new gold-silver and base metal disseminated deposits on the 26-km2 project, according to the company.

“We are delighted to partner again with Hochschild Mining as we have had a productive and positive relationship working together on several past projects,” Riverside President and CEO John-Mark Staude said. “Riverside has invested in working up the project to an actionable stage and consolidated the tenures making this a highly prospective property that warrants the type of exploration spending that this agreement provides.”

During Phase I of the earn-in option, Hochschild can earn an undivided 51% by spending $8 million on exploration over five years. Upon completion of Phase I obligations, Hochschild can elect to form a 51:49 joint venture. Hochschild can elect to earn an additional 24% (Phase II) by incurring a further $3 million in exploration expenditures and delivering a completed feasibility study over three years. Upon Hochschild completing the Phase II earn-in, Riverside will have the option to sell its interest in the project to Hochschild for $20 million, while retaining a 1% Net Smelter Royalty.