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The share price of junior explorer Metalicity (ASX:MCT) jumped 56 per cent after the explorer acquired ground next to Rio Tinto in the Paterson province of Western Australia.

Miners have been scrambling to acquire exploration ground after unconfirmed reports of a big copper discovery by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) in the Paterson province have gained momentum.

Earlier this week, major miner Independence Group (ASX:IGO) made a deal with micro-cap explorer Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) to get a piece of its project in area.

Metalicity’s Desert Queen and Mandora Beach projects have not been the subject to modern exploration, the explorer told investors.

The 679km2 Desert Queen project is 20km away from exploration conducted by Rio Tinto and within an interpreted copper corridor.

The 1,487 square kilometre Mandora Beach project adjoins tenements held by Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

Metalicity's copper project locations and neighbouring tenement holders in the Patrson Province.
Metalicity’s copper projects and neighbouring tenement holders in the Paterson Province.

The Metalicity share price — which has ranged between 1.4c and 6.5c over the past 12 months — received a welcome 56 per cent boost to an intraday high of 2.5c before cooling to 1.8c at the close.

Managing director Matt Gauci said the Paterson ranked highly on its list of areas prospective for copper mineralisation in the Pilbara, “and we are encouraged the by activity of the major companies nearby which supports our prospectivity models”.

“Metalicity retains significant experience exploring the Paterson over the last 20 years and is currently compiling all available geological, geochemical, geophysical datasets to assist guiding future exploration activities,” he said.