Canadian miner NGEx Resources Inc. and Japan's Pan Pacific Copper are planning to invest 105 million pesos (USD 17.6 million) in an exploration project in Argentina.
The joint-venture partners will begin an exploratory campaign that will involve drilling nearly 10,000 meters (32,785 feet) in the Filo del Sol, an area of the northern province of San Juan with copper, gold and silver potential, Argentina's Mining Secretariat said in a statement.
The Filo del Sol project, in which NGEx has a 60 percent stake and the Japanese company the remaining 40 percent interest, is part of a larger project known as Vicuña that straddles the border of Chile and Argentina. The Vicuña Project comprises of approximately 31,650 hectares of land that covers “relatively unexplored intersection of two major copper-gold belts along the Chile/Argentina border,” according to NGEx, which has six exploration projects in Chile and Argentina. The project employs 250 workers directly.
The exploration campaign in Filo del Sol is due to be concluded in March 2014, with the results of that work to be fully analyzed by November 2014.
Pan Pacific Copper is a major integrated copper mining and smelting company that is jointly owned by JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Company Ltd, both of Tokyo, Japan. It is the largest buyer of copper concentrate in the world and had annual revenues of JPN¥ 626.67 billion for the year ended March 31, 2012. Pan Pacific Copper has two plants in Japan with capacity to process 600,000 TN of fine copper, mostly comes from Chile and to a lesser extent, from Philippines, Canada and Indonesia.
90 % of the copper production is commercially destined to the Japanese domestic market and the remaining 10 % to the Republic China. Pan Pacific Copper develops in Argentina the Vicuña project, driven by the Strategic Agency of Japanese Cooperation (JOGMEC). This project is a milestone of the Japanese investment in Argentina.
The Argentinean government is promoting this type of investments. As part of a trade mission to Asia, Jorge Mayoral, the minister of mining and federal planning of Argentina, also presented a seminar titled “New Opportunities in Argentine Mining” in Toyko, in which he emphasized the significant growth that country’s mining sector experienced, from 2003 to present. He noted that Argentina is among the top ten global mining investment destinations, according to international rankings.
Date: November 7, 2013