Rio Tinto Exploration-Trek Metals agreement to explore Jimblebar nickel-copper project

Rio Tinto Exploration and Trek Metals agreement to explore Jimblebar nickel-copper project.
Rio Tinto Exploration and Trek Metals agreement to explore Jimblebar nickel-copper project.

Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX), wholly-owned subsidiary of the mining giant, has entered into an agreement with Trek Metal (ASX: TKM) to explore Trek’s Jimblebar nickel-copper project in the Tier 1 Pilbara mining region of WA.

During an initial option period, RTX may elect to farm-in to the project to earn an 80% joint venture (JV) interest by sole funding $5m in exploration expenditure.

Upon completion of the 80% earn-in sole funding period, an 80/20 JV will be established whereby RTX will free-carry Trek Metals until the earlier of delivery of an “Order of Magnitude” study or expenditure of a cumulative $40m.

Trek Metals chief executive Derek Marshall says the company is delighted to be partnering with Rio Tinto Exploration to advance the exploration of magmatic nickel-copper at Jimblebar.

“RTX brings significant technical and operational expertise to the table, and we are very excited to be able to collaborate with their team to generate, refine and test targets across the tenements,” he said.

“This agreement allows Trek to continue to focus on our flagship Tambourah lithium project, where we plan to commence our maiden drill program this quarter, and continue to advance our high-grade Hendeka manganese project, while keeping a free-carried exposure to the nickel-copper potential at Jimblebar and allowing it to progress much quicker than would otherwise be achievable.”

Trek Metals is a battery metals focussed mineral explorer.

The Trek board – Tony Leibowitz, Neil Biddle and John Young – were founding directors of lithium producers Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) and were instrumental in transforming PLS from a junior exploration company into an ASX100 company.