New Mining Alliance Targets Copper Exploration In Arizona, New Mexico, And Utah

Zinger Key Points
  • BHP partners with Ivanhoe Electric to explore copper and other critical minerals in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
  • BHP will contribute $15 million over three years, and Ivanhoe Electric will provide its advanced Typhoon geophysical survey system.

Mining leader BHP BHP has partnered with Ivanhoe Electric IE ))) to explore copper and other critical minerals in the United States.

The collaboration aims to find new sources of critical minerals, vital for the energy transition and the electrification revolution. The partnership involves forming 50/50 joint ventures in selected areas, focusing on copper exploration in key mineral-rich states.

“We see today's announcement as the first step in what we expect to be a long and successful partnership between Ivanhoe Electric and BHP,” noted Ivanhoe Electric CEO Taylor Melvin.

“BHP and Ivanhoe Electric have a common goal to find new sources of the critical minerals necessary to meet growing demand associated with the energy transition and the electrification revolution,” said Ivanhoe's founder and chairman, Robert Friedland.

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The joint exploration efforts focus on six areas across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, covering 1410 square miles. The agreement outlines a two-phased approach, with an initial three-year project generation phase followed by a potential joint venture phase for promising discoveries.

The project generation phase will see BHP provide $15 million in funding, kickstarting the exploration efforts. Ivanhoe Electric’s contribution lies in deploying their revolutionary Typhoon system.

As a proprietary geophysical survey system, Typhoon is crucial to the venture's exploration strategy. The technology uses a high-powered electrical signal to identify deep geophysical anomalies, focusing on copper, nickel, and other sulfide minerals.

This system can penetrate more than 1.5 kilometers underground, providing detailed images of chargeability anomalies. This level of precision is essential for exploring at greater depths and in challenging geological environments, where conventional geophysical systems often fall short.

BHP and Ivanhoe Electric will work collaboratively through the Alliance Management Committee, composed of equal representatives from both companies, to oversee the exploration process. Ivanhoe Electric will lead during the project generation phase, with potential changes to the joint venture’s operations phase depending on future agreements.

The partnership grants BHP the option to reclaim involvement in projects that are not joint ventures for 12 months if the exploration alliance agreement ends or the initial $15 million funding is exhausted.

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