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Arc Minerals gets final nod on JV with Anglo American

Arc Minerals (ARCM) has gone ‘unconditional’ in a joint venture with an Anglo-American subsidiary, setting in motion what ARCM executive chairman Nick von Schirnding says may be the best deal ever for an exploration company.

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(Partial Video Transcript)

Arc Minerals strikes mega-deal with Anglo American

JN: Arc Minerals is an exploration company focused on exploring base metals, principally copper in Africa. It's recently seen its shares rise more than 80% in the space of just five weeks as investors respond to the news that it's satisfied the substantive regulatory conditions to completing the joint venture agreement struck with subsidiary of Anglo American.

Nick von Schending is the executive chairman and joins us now. Nick, welcome. Just watching news coming through that you've just gone unconditional with this and this updates this news further. Give us more about what's happening.

Drilling begins in Zambia

NvS: That's correct. So, there was one final condition that we had to satisfy and that's gone; that's been satisfied now. So we have gone unconditional. The $3.5 million has been paid to Arc. So that's excellent news and that really completes the transaction.

As we've reported before, we started drilling already some two or three weeks ago. So that's all under way. So, excellent outcome for us.

JN: How big a deal is this for an exploration company?

NvS: For us tis is certainly the biggest turning point in our history since I've been involved with Arc, which is the last six years or so. This is by far and away, in our view, and I think if you read WH Ireland's broker note recently, the best exploration deal that's been done certainly in the last 20 years, if not ever.

A huge amount of money, circa $90m gets invested by Anglo American, almost $15m of that goes to Arc and our partners and the balance goes into the ground. So, this is a huge investment by Anglo into this part of northwest Zambia, which I think underscores why this is so exciting and that a major would invest that sort of money.

'World's best exploration deal in 20 years'

JN: Yeah, I should actually have said that I am now an investor in the stock. In fact, I undertook this investment after we last spoke five months ago when we first spoke about this deal. Was this final mile hard fought? Was it something that was going to be difficult? Or was it just a question of rubber stamping?

NvS: No, it was it was tough. So, this has taken us close on to two-and-a-half years to complete. There's a huge amount that goes into a project like this by Anglo naturally. And I'm checking all of the licences, the validity of those licences, etc. And then, of course, also all the regulatory approvals that need to happen in Zambia.

So that's now all been done. But that did take longer than we thought. It was, at times, very frustrating. But, you know, we kept with it because, you know, as I said, it's a fantastic deal. And just to remind your viewers that the area that we're drilling and exploring in, which used to be owned by Anglo American, is on the sort of western side of the region in Zambia...

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