Remember Encounter Resources (ASX: ENR)? They’re a West Australian gold-copper miner who are partners with Australia’s largest gold miner, Newcrest Resources (ASX: NCM).

The agreement began in 2017 as a project generation alliance. At the time the companies agreed to enter into a 50-50 joint venture over any projects approved by either of them.

Within 12 months they had signed five joint ventures, covering 4,500 sq km worth $1 million.

But today, Encounter announced to shareholders they had expanded their joint venture to cover 5,900 sq km.

Managing director Will Robinson told shareholders the expansion vindicated the company’s work to date.

“These projects have the potential to host gold deposits of sufficient scale to attract a major gold company like Newcrest and, as such, they provide Encounter shareholders with significant leverage to a pipeline of quality projects with unquestionable scale potential,” he said.

Follow the money…and prospects

Most of the 1,400 sq km increase, is an expansion of the Aileron project in WA’s Artuna district.

While structural targets and mineralisation have been identified, the area has not been explored before. The tenement was only granted in January and Encounter received a $150,000 drilling grant.

The balance is an expansion of the Selby project in the Tanami region, although the company is still considering which prospects to target.

Following the announcement, Encounter shares jumped by more than 17 per cent to 8.1 cents in the first hour of trading.

Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) shares over the past year.
Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) shares over the past year.