Aston Bay Holdings Ltd (TSXV:BAY) announced that it is mobilizing for the summer 2016 field season at its Storm Copper Project in Nunavut. Aston Bay
and BHP (who are earning into the project) plan to spend C$4 million this year, which includes 2,000 metres of drilling. This program is likely to
provide investors a first look at the project’s potential to deliver a “BHP sized” copper deposit.
BHP spending faster than earn-in agreement requires. Recall, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Aston Bay signed a joint venture agreement (details
here) that would allow BHP to earn a 75% interest in the project by spending C$40 million over 9 years. Of the C$40 million, C$2.5 million needs to
be spent within the first two years. With BHP committing to spend C$4 million this summer, it has exceeded minimum requirements highlighting its commitment
to the project.
Storm Copper project a key part of BHP’s exploration plans. BHP, in a recent presentation to investors on exploration, indirectly highlighted
the Storm Copper project as a key part of its go forward exploration program (Figure 1). This explains the BHP’s willingness to exceed the minimum
spend requirements for the first two years and suggests that with success, the earn-in may be completed faster than the nine years envisioned by the
agreement. It is worth noting that based on the presentation, BHP plans to spend more than US$60 million annually on copper exploration over the next
Company Description: Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSXV: BAY) is a mineral exploration company focused on the 976,066-acre (395,000-hectare)
Aston Bay property located on northwest Somerset Island, Nunavut. The Aston Bay Property hosts the Storm Copper project and has been optioned by BHP
Billiton. Historical drilling has confirmed the presence of sediment-hosted copper and zinc mineralization on the property.
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