The JV agreement sets out the terms on which Rio Tinto will manage and develop the Company’s exploration licenses in Mozambique in relation to the exploration of copper, cobalt, nickel, platinum, gold and associated minerals and metals in the Manica Province, Mozambique, currently owned by the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Zambezi Níquel Moçambique, Limitada.
Rio Tinto would invest US$5M in exploration expenditure to earn an initial 51% stake in a newly formed JV company, with AfNat holding the balance.
George Roach, CEO of AfNat, said: “The joint venture agreement signed with Rio Tinto today is an extremely positive development for the Company, and for its prospects in Mozambique.
“Rio Tinto will provide both the capital and the management expertise to develop the Company’s Mozambique assets and, we hope, further down the line bring the Company’s licenses in the country into full production.
"Additionally, the agreement significantly reduces the Company’s liabilities in Mozambique which is in line with the Company’s current strategy to minimise expenditure on its early stage exploration projects,” he said.