The copper price may still be down, but that hasn't stopped a bit of action from taking place in the junior copper space. Prospect generator Avrupa Minerals (TSXV:AVU) has signed an option agreement for its Alvito project in Portugal with Lowell Copper (TSXV:JDL). Lowell Copper is headed by David Lowell, a veteran of the mining industry who is credited with 15 major discoveries, including Escondida in Chile. Currently operated by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BLT), Escondida is the world's largest copper mine. "The Alvito IOCG project has large potential, and we are looking forward to working with the Avrupa team in this prolific mining region of Portugal," said Lowell in Monday's release. Under the terms of the agreement, Lowell can earn up to an 80-percent interest in Alvito over eight years, earning 51 percent by spending US$1.4 million on exploration during the first two years of the agreement. It will then be able to earn a further 14 percent by spending US$3 million in years three to five and another 15 percent with the completion of a feasibility study in years six to eight. Avrupa will remain the operator of the project for the first earn-in stage. As a result of earlier work at the project, Altius Minerals (TSX:ALS) holds a 1.5-percent NSR on the property.
Avrupa Minerals-Lowell Copper JV terms.
Alvito is an iron oxide-copper-gold project located in Southern Portugal. Recent exploration work by Avrupa has identified potential for significant copper-gold mineralization in known and new occurrences. Avrupa collected 144 rock chip samples around 16 prospect areas on the license in mid-2013, with 42 of the samples carrying higher than 0.25 percent copper.