After a two-year search for a partner to help develop its White Range copper, gold and cobalt project, Queensland Mining has decided to sell it lock, stock and barrel for $53 million to unlisted public company Moly Mines.

The deal includes $45 million cash and $8 million in convertible notes for the project near Cloncurry in north-western Queensland.

Queensland Mining (ASX:QMN) closed 2 per cent lower on Friday at 9c.

Queensland Mining (QMC) — which had been looking for a partner to help develop the project since 2015 — told investors the offer was too attractive to refuse in the current environment.

The company bought the project back in 2010 and carried out extensive exploration over the tenements including geological mapping, geochemical sampling and drilling.

Exploration was aimed at increasing the resource base of the project to make its development more economically viable.

The White Range project is near Cloncurry in north-western Queensland

“The transaction will enable QMC shareholders to realise value through a shareholder distribution or return, while QMC intends to fund further exploration and evaluation of its remaining tenements,” QMC said.

White Range contains a total resource of 30.2 million tonnes at 0.80 per cent copper, 0.2 grams per tonne gold and 0.03 per cent cobalt.

The project consists of three main deposits at Greenmount, Kuridala and Young Australian plus several smaller deposits at Mt McCabe, Vulcan and Desolation along with numerous advanced exploration prospects.

A pre-feasibility conducted in 2005 indicated the project had an annual production of 15,000-20,000 tonnes of copper cathode and a mine life of more than 10 years.

The deal is conditional on FIRB approval, QMC shareholder and relevant government approvals.