Nicola Mining Inc. announced that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent ("LOI") with Nittetsu Mining Co. Ltd. ("Nittetsu") whereby Nicola would agree to establish a joint venture entity with Nittetsu in respect of the Company's wholly-owned New Craigmont Copper Project (the "Project") in exchange for the payment by Nittetsu of certain exploration costs and other consideration, which could total up to $25.0 MM upon completion (the "Transaction"). The LOI is a non-binding agreement which sets out the principal terms on which the parties have agreed to complete the Transaction.
Subject to satisfactory due diligence and successful additional negotiations, the parties intend to enter into a definitive agreement with respect to the Transaction (the "Definitive Agreement") on or before December 23, 2023. During the period until the entry into the Definitive Agreement, the parties have agreed that their geological and technical teams will work closely together reviewing and organizing Project data, which includes the historic mine dumps, the historic mine's skarn mineralization, and current porphyry targets. The total aggregate $25.0 MM contribution by Nittetsu would value the New Craigmont Project at $62.5 MM would garner Nittetsu a 40% interest in the New Craigmont Copper Project.
Investment would occur directly into the Project Upon execution of the Definitive Agreement, Nittetsu expects to invest in two stages: Optional Phase - 1st Stage: During the Optional Phase, Nittetsu may contribute an aggregate of $10.0 MM in order to achieve a 20% ownership in the Project, which would be reflected as equity in a new company (the "Project Entity") to be established by the parties in respect of the Transaction and the Property. Nittetsu also maintains the right to discontinue its investment in the Project. If Nittetsu opts not to proceed to the 2nd Stage, its equity in the Project Entity would be cancelled and returned to treasury.
The 1st Stage is expected to take approximately three years, at which time Nittetsu, at its sole discretion has the option to move forward to the 2nd Stage. FS Stage - 2nd Stage: The two year FS Stage will focus on the feasibility of the Project with the goal of moving into extraction of copper from the Project, including from the historic waste dumps. Upon completion of the FS Stage and a total contribution of at least $15.0 MM, Nittetsu will have earned a 40% interest in the Property, reflected as equity in the Project Entity.
Under a Definitive Agreement, Nittetsu will act as a sales agent for the 100% copper production or can tag along with Nicola if the latter receives superior pricing for production offtake.