Vancouver, Canada – May 31, 2016 – Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY) (“Aston Bay” or the “Company”) is very pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive Option Agreement (the “Option Agreement”), including a pre-negotiated Joint Venture agreement (“JV Agreement”), with a Canadian Subsidiary of BHP Billiton Ltd. (“BHP Billiton”), to cooperatively advance the Storm Copper Project (“Storm”) in Nunavut.
Under the terms of the Option Agreement, BHP Billiton can earn a 75% interest in Storm by spending a minimum of CDN$40 million on qualifying exploration expenditures over a period of up to nine years.
“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with BHP Billiton. We look forward to a productive Summer 2016 drill program on the Storm Copper Project,” commented Benjamin Cox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aston Bay.
Highlights of the Option Agreement include:
- BHP Billiton to spend a minimum of CDN$40 million on exploration at Storm within nine years, with minimum expenditures of CDN$2.5 million in the first two years, to exercise the option and earn a 75% interest in Storm. Aston Bay has no required contributions during the option period.
- Exercise of the option would result in formation of a joint venture governed by terms of the JV Agreement, whereby both companies would contribute funding on a pro rata basis (75% BHP Billiton, 25% Aston Bay).
- Aston Bay has no required exploration expenses for four years from the closing of the Option Agreement; in the event of an early exercise of the option, Aston Bay’s pro rata contribution to any additional expenditures will not be required until the end of this four-year period.
- Commander Resources Ltd. (“Commander”, TSX-V: CMD) will retain its 0.875% Gross Overriding Royalty (“GOR”) on the area of mutual interest with Aston Bay; BHP Billiton has the option to buy this down to a 0.4% GOR with a one-time payment of CDN$4 million.
- Aston Bay will hold a Gross Overriding Royalty of 0.3% on the territory outside the area of mutual interest with Commander.
- BHP Billiton will make a cash payment of CDN$325,000 to Aston Bay upon closing of this Option Agreement.
- Aston Bay will be the operator for this upcoming field season, and BHPB can elect to assume operatorship at any time.
Permitting, procurement and logistics activities with BHP Billiton are already underway in preparation for a Summer 2016 exploration program, which includes planned drilling. Overall targets and plans for drilling and exploration are still being finalized.
Closing of the Option Agreement is conditional upon approval of the TSX Venture Exchange and other routine closing conditions.
For more information on Aston Bay’s Storm Property, please visit the Company’s website at the following URL: https://astonbayholdings.com/116-2/investors/
The content of this news release and the technical information that forms the basis for this disclosure has been prepared under the supervision of Michael Dufresne, M.Sc., P.Geol., who is the Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 and a Director of and Consultant to Aston Bay.
About Aston Bay Holdings
Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY) is a publicly traded mineral exploration company focused on the 976,066 acre (395,000 hectares) Aston Bay Property located on northwest Somerset Island, Nunavut. The Aston Bay Property hosts the Storm Copper project and has been optioned by BHP Billiton. Historical drilling has confirmed the presence of sediment-hosted copper and zinc mineralization on the property.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Benjamin Cox, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (360) 262-6969
For further information about Aston Bay Holdings Ltd or this news release, please visit our website at www.astonbayholdings.com.
About BHP Billiton Ltd.
Further information on BHP Billiton can be found at: bhpbilliton.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “projects”, “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will”, “would”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made. In the event that management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
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