Following the successful completion of the jointly designed validation program, BHP exercised its option to enter into a farm-in and joint venture agreement covering the 4,500-km2 Elliott Copper Project in the Northern Territory (NT). BHP may earn up to a 75% interest in Elliott by spending up to $22 million over 10 years.

Elliott represents a compelling exploration opportunity in the vastly under-explored Greater McArthur Superbasin that contains the key ingredients for the formation of large sedimentary copper deposits.

An extensive exploration program, including seismic surveys and drilling, is planned to rapidly advance understanding of basin architecture and to define prospective deposition sites for sedimentary copper mineralization.

In addition, Encounter continues to advance and build its commanding 100% owned copper exploration portfolio in the NT covering a further 17,000 km2.

“Copper sourced from sedimentary-hosted deposits is one of the fastest growing sources of high-grade copper in the world,” Encounter Managing Director Will Robinson said. “Encounter controls an extensive first mover portfolio of copper projects in the Greater McArthur Superbasin in the NT.

“The potential for this region to host large sedimentary-hosted copper deposits is rapidly emerging and we are delighted to be teaming up with BHP to apply leading edge technologies in the search for Tier 1 copper deposits at Elliott. The outcomes of the jointly designed validation program at Elliott have been illuminating and bolstered the potential for the discovery of large sedimentary-hosted copper deposits under shallow cover in the NT.”

Upon BHP completing the earn-in, a 75/25 joint venture will be formed and the parties must contribute funds based on their percentage interest to maintain their respective interests or dilute according to a standard dilution formula. Should a party’s interest dilute to below 10% it shall automatically convert to a net smelter royalty.

During the farm-in phase, BHP has the right to be the manager of the project.