Australia’s top gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd says it has signed an exploration agreement for a joint venture with London-listed Greatland Gold Plc.

The joint venture comes a day after Newcrest announced it will buy a 70 per cent interest in the Red Chris copper and gold mine in Canada from Imperial Metals Corp for $US806.5 million.

The joint venture is for Greatland Gold’s Havieron prospect in Western Australia’s Paterson region, Newcrest said in a statement. Rio Tinto Ltd recently discovered some copper and gold in the Paterson.

Newcrest, which will maintain a majority interest in the joint venture, will be the manager of the mining program during the farm-in period with the option to earn up to a 70 per cent stake by spending up to $US65 million over a six-year period after an initial investment of $US5 million, it said.

Newcrest intends to process any ore from the Havieron site at their nearby Telfer mine, the company said.


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‘Greatland Gold’s exploration to date has intersected significant mineralisation (nearby) Telfer’s extensive infrastructure and processing capacity,’ Newcrest Chief Development Officer Michael Nossal said in the statement.

The agreement comes at a time of wider consolidation in the gold industry as miners around the globe aim to bolster shrinking reserves to boost growth and take advantage of rising prices.