China Yunnan Copper Australia Chile, a 100%-owned Chilean subsidiary of Chinalco Yunnan Copper Resources (CYU), has signed a farm-in agreement with a subsidiary of Codelco for the Sulfatos copper porphyry exploration property in northern Chile. Total expenditure anticipated over the six-year period of the agreement is up to $20 million, with a requirement for drilling of a minimum 5,000 m. Once a bankable feasibility is obtained, CYU has the right to trigger the incorporation of a joint venture company in which CYU will hold a 51% interest and Codelco 49%. Codelco does not contribute funding until the joint-venture company is incorporated and the feasibility study is completed at CYU’s expense.

                Codelco completed a program of mapping, geochemical sampling, road construction and drilling at Sulfatos from 1997 to 2006, with the best results including an intercept of 92 m grading 0.65% copper. CYU Managing Director Jason Beckton said, “No modern geophysical work has been completed at Sulfatos, and this is a logical next step forward. We are endeavoring to detect a significant orebody at Sulfatos and plan to set rigs on this project after completing drilling programs at our Caramasa and Palmani projects in the coming months.”

                CYU is an ASX-listed Australian company that explores for and develops minerals in Australia, Chile and Laos. The company recently changed its name to reflect its relationship with its cornerstone investor Yunnan Copper Industry, which is 51%-owned by the Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco). (