Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY) (“Aston Bay” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has signed an exclusive Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with a wholly owned Canadian Subsidiary of BHP Billiton Ltd. (“BHPB”) to cooperatively advance the Storm Copper Project (“Storm”). Under the terms of the LOI, BHPB may earn a 75% interest in Storm, with a provision in place to convert into a Joint Venture agreement. To earn a 75% interest in Storm, the LOI anticipates BHPB spending a minimum of CDN$40 million on exploration at Storm within nine years (including a minimum of CDN$2.5 million within two years) of signing a definitive agreement (the “Definitive Agreement”). Aston Bay will have no required exploration expenses for four years from the date of signing the Definitive Agreement. BHPB and Aston Bay are currently discussing terms of the Definitive Agreement, and are targeting completion during the second quarter of 2016. Aston Bay is to hold a gross overriding royalty (“GOR”) of 0.3% on all mineral claims covered by the agreement outside of Aston Bay’s area of mutual interest with Commander Resources Ltd.
“We are very pleased to have attracted, as a partner, a top-tier global mining company with a track record of building and operating some of the world’s largest copper mines. This new partnership is a testament to the exploration potential at the Storm Copper Project,” said Benjamin Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Bay. “Our agreement with BHP Billiton will advance the Storm Copper Project without significant equity dilution for Aston Bay’s shareholders, leaving Aston Bay with a meaningful interest in the project.”
BHPB has also agreed to pay Aston Bay CDN$325,000 at the time of signing the Definitive Agreement. The Storm Copper Project, located on Somerset Island, Nunavut, covers a 100km-plus strike length of mineralized showings within stratigraphy favourable for sediment-hosted copper mineralization. Historical drilling focused on the mineralized zones cropping out at surface and included 110 metres (m) of 2.45% copper and 56m of 3.07% copper at the 2750N zone, as well as 49m of 1.79% copper at the 2200N zone. Exploration by Aston Bay has identified a number of coincident conductivity and gravity anomalies that are consistent with regional mineralizing processes that have significance for property-wide exploration.
Please visit Aston Bay’s website (http://astonbayholdings.com/storm-copper) for moreinformation on the Storm project.
“BHP Billiton’s involvement underscores the prospective nature of the Storm project,” commented Benjamin Cox. “BHP Billiton brings technical depth and expertise to the project and we are eager to begin exploring the property with their exploration group. Their creative ideas for exploration are innovative and add significant exploration value.” Aston Bay is also in the process of closing its agreement with Commander Resources (TSXV: CMD) after receiving over 60% shareholder approval. When all approvals are received and once shares are issued to Commander in accordance with the agreement, Aston Bay would own 100% of the Storm Copper Project. For more information, see the Company’s press release dated December 17, 2015.