Junior miner Terramin Australia (ASX:TZN) has landed yet another deal with American copper heavyweight Freeport-McMoRan.

Terramin and Freeport subsidiary Freeport-McMoRan Exploration are on the hunt for big copper-gold deposits in the South Gawler Ranges region of South Australia.

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It’s the second tie-up between the pair following an exploration deal for the Murray Bridge area in early June.

NYSE-listed Freeport operates large copper, gold and molybdenum mines in the Americas and Indonesia.

Its assets include the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits, the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America, and the Cerro Verde operation in South America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Freeport can build an interest in the Gawler project of up to 70 per cent if it chooses to invest at least $3m on exploration over the next four years.

Shares in Terramin were unchanged in morning trade at 7.5c.

Proximity play

The South Gawler Ranges exploration region is an area covering more than 4,500 sq km.

Terramin says the lower range systems are known to have similar iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) properties to the upper levels of big mines like BHP’s (ASX:BHP) as Olympic Dam.

CEO Richard Taylor said the earn-in deal is an “important part” of the company’s South Australian gold strategy.

“The farm out arrangements will see Terramin able to focus more on bringing its flagship Bird in Hand gold mine into production, while maintaining exposure to exploration upside in the Gawler region,” Taylor said.

As part of the agreement, Freeport can increase its total interest in the project to 80 per cent if it spends a further $5m over the next six years.

If Terramin’s stake falls to below 10 per cent, its interest will convert to a 1 per cent royalty payment.

In other ASX base metals news today

Aeon Metals (ASX:AML) provided an update on its Basin Edge project. The company has now applied for five additional mineral exploration permits, covering 1,555km to the area east of Walford Creek in north-east Queensland. Aeon said it now had an “attractive basin-scale exploration opportunity” to leverage its improved geological understanding of the area. Shares in AML were unchanged at 20.5c.

Copper-gold explorer PolarX (ASX:PXX) has completed its recent entitlement offer and shortfall issue. The company issued roughly 43.2 million shares at 8c each, raising around $3.5m.

Raiden Resources (ASX:RDN) announced it was now the owner of the Zupa project in south-west Serbia, after the transfer of ownership was approved by the Serbian Ministry of Mines and Energy. Shares in the company were up 16 per cent to 0.7c.

And shares in Ironbark Zinc (ASX:IBG) were down 11 per cent to 1.6c after the company provided details of a share purchase plan. IBG wants to raise $1.5m from eligible shareholders, who will be given the opportunity to purchase up to $15,000 worth of stock at 1.5c per share.