The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) has indicated it will invest up to $A4.5 Million ($US4.29 M) over three years to earn a 40% stake in a broad exploration joint venture for zinc and lead in Australia's Northern Territory.
JOGMEC is joining successful Kambalda region nickel miner and explorer Mincor Resources NL (ASX: MCR) which holds 9,000 square kilometres in tenements in the NT's Georgina Basin.
Mincor's managing director, David Moore, said JOGMEC - set up by the Japanese Government in 2006 - to help stabilize supply of oil, gas and minerals to the Japanese economy - said this deal brings important foreign investment to the kind of pioneering grassroots exploration work that has been all too rare in Australia over the past few decades.
Should there be discoveries JOGMEC may introduce Japanese companies to the projects.
Mincor will manage the exploration but will get technical assistance from JOGMEC.
A Native Title Agreement that gives Mincor access to the Georgina area for low impact exploration activities has been negotiated with the Northern Territory Central Land Council (CLC).
The deal provides for JOGMEC to sole-fund $A2.5 M ($US2.38 M) over two years to earn a 25% interest. JOGMEC may elect to earn a further 15% by spending an additional $A$2 M ($US1.91 M) over a further 12 months.
The strong cash flow Mincor is gaining from its expanding nickel mining operations in Kambalda has allowed it to broaden its exploration sweep in Australia and recently it had exploration success on copper-gold targets in the Tottenham region of New South Wales.
Mincor's website shows that the Georgina Basin properties were also considered prospective for uranium.