Agnico-Eagle Mines has invested $2.15 million to acquire one million units of Nevada-based precious metals explorer AuEx Ventures (TSX-V:  XAU), its partner in the West Pequop joint venture that includes the West Pequop property in northeastern Nevada.

The Toronto gold miner has an option to earn 70% of the joint venture if it provides financing and property development which is carried through the feasibility stage.

Agnico is also partnered with AuEx in several minerals land packages in the Santa Cruz Province in Argentina

AuEx announced Wednesday it had closed a $6.45 million private placement, which now gives the explorer cash on hand of $10.75 million. Proceeds of this private placement will be used by AuEx for funding its participating interest in the Long Canyon Venture, maintenance and exploration of existing projects and general working capital purposes, the company said in a news release.

The Long Canyon Venture is a joint venture with the Fronteer Development Group gold exploration company.

Agnico-Eagle estimated it now holds 12.4% of AuEx Ventures.

The Reno junior explorer is managed by a team of former Homestake Mining explorationists, headed by Ron Parratt, the former director of exploration for Homestake and a former vice president for exploration for Santa Fe Pacific Gold.

AuEx has a current portfolio of nineteen exploration projects in Nevada, one project in Spain and five projects in Argentina. The Company controls over 80,000 acres of unpatented mining claims and fee land in Nevada. Nine of the projects are in joint venture or exploration earn-in agreements with five companies which provide exploration funding.