An Australian mining firm exploring a significant copper and gold deposit in northern Cambodia has reached an agreement with the tenement’s former owner to amend the terms of its 2013 acquisition of the project, it said this week.
Geopacific Resources Ltd said in an announcement to the ASX that the project’s vendor, Hong Kong-listed investment firm Golden Resources Development International Ltd (GRDI), agreed to reschedule the remaining purchase payment.
In 2013, Geopacific and its local joint venture partner the Royal Group signed a purchase agreement to acquire full ownership of the Kou Sa project from South Korean-controlled GRDI.
Under the terms of the agreement, Geopacific was scheduled to pay $14 million to GRDI by the end of January 2015 to exercise its option of acquiring the project.
However, new terms were negotiated in 2014 whereby Geopacific would pay $1.4 million on Jan. 31, 2015, with the balance payable in instalments every six months from July 31, 2015 through December 31, 2016.
Under the newly renegotiated agreement announced on Monday, the final $4.2 million instalment was split and deferred, and linked to achieving two project development milestones; the receipt of financial closure and an undisclosed production target.
“The new terms see the company conserving cash, which will be spent ‘in the ground’ at Kou Sa, whereas [the] original terms required a cash payment by July,” the company said.
Ron Heeks, managing director of Geopacific said GRDI had agreed to share some of the project’s risk to help push forward its development.
“We have achieved a more realistic outcome in light of difficult capital markets and the downturn in commodity pricing,” he said. “The result is beneficial to shareholders and reduces our need to return to the market for capital.”
The Kou Sa project is located on a 158-square-kilometre tenement in Preah Vihear province. Geomagnetic surveys and test drilling have revealed high-grade copper and gold mineralisation at several sites.
Geopacific holds 85 per cent interest in the project, while the Royal Group has a free-carried 15 per cent interest until a decision is made to mine.
The royalty on the any copper or gold produced at Kou Sa is fixed at 2 per cent, with royalty payments capped at $8.4 million, according to the company announcement.