Japan-backed entity to explore for gold, copper with Australia firm

28, Nov. 2019

SYDNEY, NNA - Government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. will invest as much as AU$6 million ($4 million) to prospect for gold and copper deposits in Australia with Hammer Metals Ltd., a local metal mining firm.

The Japanese organization signed a joint venture agreement with Hammer Metals over four areas where they will look for iron oxide copper gold deposits. The four areas covering 290 square kilometers are under the Australian company's 2,200-sq-km Mt. Isa project in the eastern state of Queensland, according to a Hammer Metals statement released on Monday.

Starting with an AU$1 million investment by March 2020, the Tokyo-based organization will inject capital in five phases to secure a 60 percent interest by spending a total AU$6 million by March 2024, pending approval from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.

The organization may review its investment in case of a lengthy delay in the project, its spokesman told NNA on Tuesday. He said it would also consider transferring its interest to other Japanese firms if the project becomes more promising. (NNA/Kyodo)