Australia's South32 to partner with Canadian metal explorer for Alaska project

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Australian miner South32 Ltd and Canadian base metal explorer Trilogy Metals Inc will become equal partners in a joint venture that will own and operate an Alaskan copper and base metal project, the two companies said on Friday.

South32 said it has exercised its option to acquire a 50% stake in the joint venture company that will own Upper Kobuk Mineral Project located in the Ambler mining district in Alaska.

The company said the move follows a successful exploration partnership with Trilogy and will help the Australian miner expand its portfolio in North America by adding high-quality copper and base metals development options.

The joint venture will retain $87.5 million of the $145 million subscription payment to fund exploration plans. The rest will be loaned back to South32, which will be repaid in instalments.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur