Camino Corp. (TSXV: COR) has signed a letter of intent to partner with Japan’s Nittetsu Mining Co. at its Los Chapitos copper exploration project in Peru. Nittetsu currently operates the Atacama Kozan copper mine located in northern Chile that was developed from an iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposit style similar to Camino’s Los Chapitos project.
Pursuant to the LOI, Nittetsu can earn a 35% interest in the Los Chapitos project by making payments and expenditures totalling C$10.1 million over three years. Proceeds will be applied towards exploration, infill drilling, and metallurgical and engineering studies.
Nittetsu will have exclusivity to complete due diligence and enter into a definitive agreement by the end of April 2023, by which the LOI will terminate unless mutually extended by the parties.
Upon completion of the 35% interest acquisition by Nittetsu, a joint venture between parties will then be established. Camino will remain the operator of the project.
The Los Chapitos property is located in the IOCG belt of the coastal cordillera of northern Chile and southern Peru. The Mina Justa IOCG copper mine is located approximately 100 km north of Los Chapitos in southern Peru, and is noted as one of the world’s newest large-scale copper producers behind Quellaveco (Peru) and Kamoa-Kakula (DRC).
Other major deposits in this IOCG belt include Mantoverde (Chile) and Candelaria (Chile), along with dozens of other smaller-scale copper deposits.
Camino optioned Los Chapitos in 2016 and now owns 100% of an expanded tenement area totalling approximately 22,000 hectares. Exploration and drilling focused on the Adriana and Atajo zones began in 2017.
“Nittetsu is the operator of the Atacama Kozan mine located in the prolific iron oxide copper gold belt in Chile, next to one of the world’s largest IOCG copper mines, Candelaria,” Camino CEO Jay Chmelauskas said in a press release.
“Our Japanese partners have extensive mining and geological exploration expertise in a renowned IOCG belt to bring to our southern Peru location. There has been growing interest in southern Peru as an under-explored IOCG mining district, and Nittetsu has recognized our Los Chapitos project as one of the most advanced exploration projects in this coastal cordillera region,” he added.
Shares of Camino surged 25% by noon ET following the latest partnership announcement. The company has a market capitalization of C$8.6 million ($6.4m).