BHP withdraws from Elliott JV with Encounter

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) has decided to withdraw from the Elliott Copper Project’s farm-in and joint venture (JV) agreement with Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR). 

Encounter Resources, which has a market capitalisation of $150.84 million, has now regained 100% control of its 7,200km-square copper project that sits in the Northern Territory. 

The company now plans to evaluate the new data generated under the farm-in agreement to prioritise the next phase of exploration at Elliott, alongside its other wholly owned projects.

Encounter Resources Managing Director Will Robinson says one aspect of the partnership model is that it facilitates the capture of fundamental, baseline exploration data in new regions. 

“We thank the BHP team for their open and cooperative approach over the last 3 years while safely and successfully completing their exploration at Elliott.”

Over the past 3 years, BHP has funded exploration at Elliott and has completed compiling data packages such as seismic, airborne electromagnetic (EM), magnetics, gravity, geochemistry, and hydro-geochemistry. 

BHP has also completed extensive traditional owner engagement and site surveys, geological mapping and orientation soil sampling, as well as diamond drilling. 

A 2-hole diamond drilling program was completed by BHP in November 2022, which intersected the Amungee Member of the Velkerri Formation. 

The Amungee Member is an anomalously organic and pyrite rich shale and a target for deposition of sediment-hosted copper mineralisation. 

Robinson adds: “Diamond drilling has significantly de-risked the project through the identification of the anomalous Amungee Member at explorable depths and also improved the understanding of basin architecture. 

These new learnings have positive implications for future exploration at Elliott and also at the 100% owned Dunmarra, Maryfield, and Broadmere projects in the Beetaloo basin.”

Encounter Resources is a mineral explorer focused on uncovering ‘major’ copper and critical mineral deposits in Australia. 

As of 30 September 2023, the company had $9.4 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au    

Images: Encounter Resources
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.