The company believes St Barbara, a mid-tier gold producer, has the technical capability, financial security and operational flexibility to help realise and fully maximise the potential that Horn Island hosts.
St Barbara has made the agreement with Alice Queen's 84.5%-owned subsidiary Kauraru Gold Pty Ltd.
Alice Queen managing director Andrew Buxton said the EIJVA was the culmination of a detailed search for the right joint venture partner at Horn Island.
He said: “The agreement with St Barbara was formed on the back of extensive talks with a number of interested parties.
"Ultimately the company was of the view that St Barbara was the perfect fit for both Alice Queen and Horn Island.
“We are pleased to have secured St Barbara as our partner for Horn Island and we look forward to working closely together with a mutual view of exploring and developing this asset into a profitable gold mine.”
The commercial terms set out in the EIJVA are:
St Barbara has the right, but not the obligation to earn 70% in the Horn Island project by sole funding expenditure of $4 million within 36 months;
The area that is the subject of the earn-in rights does not include the historic Horn Island pit area or the area that holds the existing inferred mineral resource of 7.96 million tonnes at 1.9 g/t gold for 492,000 ounces;
Kauraru has granted St Barbara an option to acquire a 70% interest in the excluded zone with effect on or after it earns its earn-in interest for fair value determined at the time of the acquisition; and
St Barbara may withdraw from the earn-in and JV agreement at any time prior to satisfying the earn-in expenditure requirement provided it has funded expenditure of at least $500,000 within the first 12 months.
The agreement aligns Alice Queen with a well-established gold miner that has experience in developing a gold project on an island that bears geographical synergies to Horn Island.
Alice Queen will assist where requested by St Barbara in respect of all St Barbara exploration activities, given its strong relationships and experience on the ground at Horn Island.