The Vancouver-based miner Amarc Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: AHR) (OTCQB: AXREF) and British Columbia’s mineral prospector Richard J Billingsley are establishing a $200,000 Indigenous scholarship through a new option agreement in the province.
Amarc announced the creation of the scholarship on Tuesday, which will be allocated to members of the Lake Babine Nation in Burns Lake. The option agreement will enable Amarc to obtain a 100 per cent interest in a group of mineral claims spanning 2.34 square kilometres within its DUKE copper-gold property that are still in the possession of Billingsley.
The company says they are situated “internal to and near to the northern extent” of the property.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of our negotiations with Dick (Billingsley) who has generously agreed that Amarc’s funding of the scholarship would satisfy an important part of the consideration to him for the transfer of these mineral claims to the company,” said Amarc’s CEO Diane Nicholson.
The agreement will enable Amarc to acquire the claims by issuing Billingsley 200,000 shares of the company, annual cash payments of $5,000 and a 2 per cent net smelter royalty on the claims capped at $10 million. Amarc will be issuing Lake Babine $20,000 for a period of 10 years.
“This will be a great opportunity for the next generation to further educate themselves in the field of mining exploration and/or other related fields,” said Lake Babine’s Chief Murphy Abraham.
“Much appreciation to Mr. Billingsley and Amarc for providing this opportunity which will help build the capacity Lake Babine needs to be able to sustain itself in the future of this industry.”
Amarc’s 678 square-kilometre Duke property is located approximately 80 kilometres northeast of Smithers in the Babine Region, which the company says is one of the most mineralized porphyry belts in the province.
In November last year, the company entered an earn-in agreement with the Swedish company Boliden AB (STO: BOL) and its Canadian subsidiary Boliden Mineral Canada Ltd. The agreement gave Boliden the option to earn up to a 70 per cent stake in the DUKE property by funding $90 million in exploration and development costs.
Amarc signed an exploration agreement with the Lake Babine Nation in April 2021 with regard to the DUKE district, which is situated in the Indigenous group’s traditional territory.
The company acquired the DUKE property in the fall of 2016 along with the JOY copper-gold deposit in the Toodoggone Region.
Amarc shares stayed flat at $0.10 Tuesday on the TSX Venture Exchange and have steadily declined by over 33 per cent since the beginning of this year.