Canada’s Nova Royalty has signed a deal with Transition Metals Corp. (TMC) to acquire a portfolio of nine royalties, includes an existing 1% net smelter return (NSR) royalty on Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) Janice Lake copper-silver project in the province of Saskatchewan.
The agreement also guarantees Nova a 1% NSR royalty on Transition Metal’s Wollaston copper project, 1.25% on the Dundonald nickel project, and six other exploration properties in some of Canada’s most mineralized districts.
“Janice Lake is one of the most exciting emerging copper exploration projects in Canada, and we are keen to follow Rio Tinto’s progress as it systematically explores the Wollaston copper belt,” Nova’s president and CEO Alex Tsukernik said.
The executive noted the deal was a natural fit for the company’s focus on royalties on district-scale copper and nickel projects.
“By selling this royalty package to Nova now, we unlock some of the value we created while maintaining upside exposure to the projects,” Transition’s president and CEO, Scott McLean, said in a separate statement.
As part of the agreement, Nova will give C$ 1.072 million in cash and 525,000 common shares to Transition Metals. The deal also contemplates a cash payment of C$ 1 million once a bankable feasibility study has been completed or commercial production on the Janice Lake property begins.
The Vancouver-based company will also issue C$ 1 million in common shares if the projected annual production of the Janice Lake property is at least 30,000 tonnes of copper for a minimum of 10 years.
Rio Tinto optioned the project in May last year and can earn an 80% interest by spending C$30 million in addition to making separate option payments to Forum Energy Metals and TMC.
The Australian giant began its 2020 exploration season at Janice Lake, in northern Saskatchewan, in June. The company is setting a 50-person camp on the concession while prospecting and mapping of the entire 52 km extent of the property in 2 km wide spacings.
Nova Royalty is set to list on the Toronto Venture Exchange in the Fall.