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AIC Mines has officially taken ownership of the Eloise copper mine in North-West Queensland, completing a $27 million acquisition deal with FMR Investments.

Announcing the completion, AIC heralded ‘a new and exciting stage for the company’, which also has two major exploration projects in Western Australia.

And it is promising to pump new life into the Eloise operation with a focus on exploration efforts to build the resource.

“Considerable effort has gone into completing the Eloise transaction and I am very thankful for the herculean efforts of both the AIC and FMR employees who have assisted with the completion process and ownership transition,” AIC managing director Aaron Colleran said.

“The opportunity ahead of us is very exciting. We can now turn our attention to capturing the potential which we believe exists at Eloise.

“AIC’s exploration strategy for Eloise will focus on both extensions to the known resource areas and the discovery of new satellite lodes within the Eloise tenements.

“There is clear potential to extend the mine life well beyond five years.”

Eloise, 60km south-east of Cloncurry, commenced production in 1996 and has since produced about 339,000 tonnes
of copper and 167,000oz of gold.

Current annual production is about 40,000dmt of high quality copper concentrate containing approximately 11,000t of copper and 6,000oz of gold.

It is an underground mine accessed via decline, with ore in the upper levels of the mine extracted by longhole open stoping and the lower levels extracted by sublevel caving.

The acquisition deal involved a payment of $5 million in cash and $20 million in AIC shares as well as a contingent payment of $2 million in cash (payable six months after completion if certain production milestones are achieved).

Former owner FMR retains an interest in the operation through a 30 per cent stake in the issued capital of AIC as a result of the transaction.