UK-based Getech, East Star partner to explore for Kazakhstan copper

Credit: East Star Resources

UK-based geospatial technology firm Getech (LSE: GTC) has announced a joint venture East Star Resources (LSE: EST) to pursue copper exploration opportunities in Kazakhstan.

As part of the new joint venture, Getech will use its proprietary data, enhanced by in-house artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, to conduct a mineral systems analysis and structural interpretation for sedimentary-hosted copper and pinpoint prospective areas in the underexplored basins of Kazakhstan.

East Star, which currently holds copper licences on the Verkhuba deposit, as well as orogenic gold and rare earth prospects in the country, will lead the application process for the tenements/licences and spearhead operational activities.

In return for its services, Getech will have a call option to obtain shares at no cost in the JV company, equivalent to 5% of its issued capital, once exploration licenses are secured within the project areas. Getech’s 5% share is protected against dilution until a decision to mine has been made at one or more of the mining licenses.

According to the tech firm, this transaction is the first example of the company implementing its equity participation strategy. The new agreement demonstrates a change from generating fee income from subsurface searches to asset participation with the potential to generate substantially more value from its unique data.

“This collaboration presents us with significant upside potential and minimal risks. In the event of a successful exploration campaign, we obtain a 5% stake in one or more mining assets. The option has transformative value creation potential, which we can monetize at various stages,” Getech CEO Richard Bennett, CEO said in a release.

“Sediment-hosted copper deposits account for around 20% of global copper production and have the potential for Tier 1 deposits being sought by the global major mining companies. At no upfront cost to East Star, this play-type adds a potential third strand to East Star’s copper strategy, which includes a VMS deposit and a BHP-backed porphyry exploration program,” East Star’s CEO Alex Walker added.

Verkhuba hosts a JORC-compliant exploration target of 19-23 million tonnes grading 1.4-1.9% copper equivalent based on historical drilling.