Australian exploration company TNT Mines Limited (ASX: TIN) has entered into an exclusive four-month Binding Exclusivity Agreement to potentially acquire 100% of the issued capital in Metals of Americas, LLC, which holds mineral leases over the surface and mineral rights to the Pelley Ridge Zinc Project in Montana, USA which is a highly prospective advanced zinc exploration asset.
Metals of Americas, LLC, is a Nevada‐based Limited Liability Company, owned by Nedeel LLC and Ms Cherie Leeden – former Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT) managing director and founder who has over 16 years’ global corporate experience with a focus on ethical mineral development and proven track record of being a ‘mine finder’.
Under the terms of the agreement, TNT Mines will pay Metals of Americas LLC US$100,000 by way of a cost reimbursement for direct project related costs incurred to date by the vendor group on securing the minerals rights over the Pelley Ridge project.
The term of the Binding Exclusivity agreement is for four (4) months, expiring on 30th April 2019 or such later date as the parties may agree in writing.
During this time, TNT Mines will have exclusivity over the Pelley Ridge Zinc Project, during which it intends to complete its technical and commercial due diligence on the project and (subject to it being satisfied with its due diligence) finalise the terms of a binding acquisition agreement with the vendors, Nedeel LLC and Ms Leeden.
Commenting on the Binding Exclusivity Agreement, TNT Mines Chairman Brett Mitchell said:
“While we will still retain our Tasmanian tin projects, our board is of the view that securing and developing base metals, precious or strategic metal projects in tier‐1 mining jurisdictions will complement the current project portfolio and add significant value to our shareholders.
“The Pelley Ridge Zinc Project, in the board’s view, fits this profile as it already contains a significant ore grade intercept. Also securing the services of Cherie Leeden is a significant coup for the Company, for not only the Pelley Ridge asset but also for project generation for other advanced mining assets in North America. As per our exclusive Binding Exclusivity Agreement, TIN will now complete its extensive due diligence processes on Pelley Ridge over the next four months and I look forward to updating shareholders on our progress.”
The Pelley Ridge Zinc Project encompasses two contiguous leases (the Pelly Ridge mineral lease and the Bromley mineral lease) which cover approximately 2,000 hectares. The project lies ~12km southeast of the town of Hot Springs in the Belt Purcell Basin, Montana and has excellent infrastructure in place with a government‐maintained road within the tenure and year‐round access. The land is not vegetated and has no apparent environmental sensitivities.
According to TNT Mines the project is a drill‐ready, high‐grade zinc target, which importantly is located on freehold ground. As such, permits to conduct exploration are generally rapid, and typically take around 4 – 6 weeks to obtain.
Pelley Ridge is interpreted to lie in a similar tectonic and time‐stratigraphic setting to the world‐class Sullivan zinc deposit (Sullivan contained >160MT of 12% combined Pb+Zn and 2 ounces pt Ag).
In Canada, the prospective rock type which hosts the Sullivan deposit is referred to as the ‘Purcell Supergroup’ and in the USA the same rock type is referred to as the ‘Belt Supergroup’. The rock type is exposed over a massive surface area of more than 200,000 km2 and is present in western Montana, northern Idaho, northwestern Washington and western Wyoming. It extends into Canada where the equivalent rocks are exposed in southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. Over this vast surface area, the Pelley Ridge project boasts the best drill intersection outside of the Sullivan deposit area.
According to historical exploration conducted at the project, mineralisation shows affinities to a strata‐bound Pb‐Zn‐Ag SEDEX‐type target.
Despite some globally significant intercepts in historical drilling including 14.9m @ 5.43% Zn from 71m (including 10.8m @ 7.21% Zn) only limited work has been conducted at the project.
Within the Bromley lease lies a conspicuous gossan outcrop, called Gossan Knob, which covers some 30m x 150m in diameter with exposure to the north obscured by shallow transported gravels.
Cominco drilled 8 holes at Gossan Knob with PR‐02 returning high‐grade intercepts of including 14.9m @ 5.43% Zn from 71.3m (including 10.8m @ 7.21% Zn), below a wider zone of 25.3m @ 3.26% Zn from 24.4m. Nearby and subsequent drill holes supported the presence of a strong zinc‐rich alteration event, with widespread >0.25% Zn anomalism and mineralised intercepts to 25m @ 3.09% Zn from 25m in PPR‐95‐09, 16.77m @ 3.11% Zn from 56.5m in PR‐01, and 29m @ 2.70% Zn from 41.1m in PR‐04. The Company views the width of historic zinc and supporting lead/silver and copper mineralisation and surrounding >0.20% Zn anomalism as being indicative of strong mineralising system.
Technical Advisor and Project Generator Appointment
In conjunction with signing the Binding Exclusivity Agreement, TNT Mines has executed a consulting services agreement with Cherie Leeden – a highly experienced mining executive – to the role Technical Advisor and Project Generator for the Company. Ms Leeden’s appointment as Technical Advisor and Project Generator for TIN is effective from 1st December 2018 and will be on a part‐time basis. Following the completion of a transaction to acquire Pelley Ridge and/or other material mining assets in North America or other Tier‐1 jurisdictions, the parties will look to increase the services and responsibilities of the role Ms Leeden undertakes with the Company.
Ms Leeden – who is based in Nevada ‐ is the former Managing Director and founder of Battery Minerals (ASX: BAT) and has extensive global corporate experience with a focus on natural resource development in Africa, Australia and the US.
She has developed strong relationships with North American end‐users and has a proven track record of being a ‘mine finder’. She has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Geology degree with Honours from the Western Australian School of Mines and is a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Australian Institute of Company Directors.
In her role, Ms Leeden will be responsible for:
- the geological and exploration operations of the Company in executing the business plans approved by the Company for the core activities on the Pelley Ridge Project (comprising the Bromley and Pelley Ridge mineral leases) and other advanced mining projects and opportunities identified in the United States of America, and other Tier‐1 jurisdictions, from time to time; and
- leading new resource project identification and generation for the Company in North America. The agreed scope is to identify large scale, advanced mineral deposits in North America that have potential for near term production and revenue generation, targeting base metals, gold and battery metals deposits, which could be acquired by the Company (through MOA or otherwise).
If and when the transaction to acquire MOA is completed, the parties have agreed that Ms Leeden’s role will be expanded to include the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Technical Director of MOA.