LONDON (Reuters) - Australia’s Walkabout Resources (WKT.AX) has entered a joint venture with Koza Ltd, a British subsidiary of Turkish miner Koza Altin (KOZAL.IS), to explore for gold and other metals at Slieve Gallion in Northern Ireland.
Koza Altin’s founder Akin Ipek set up Koza Ltd and fled Turkey after relations between the government and followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen soured.
Much of his Turkish fortune was based on gold mining and he has been seeking to develop projects in Britain.
The Istanbul-listed parent, meanwhile, is in a legal battle to eject Ipek and get the subsidiary’s assets, drained by protracted litigation, back under its control.
Koza Altin is one of hundreds of companies seized by the Turkish authorities and now managed by the Savings Deposits Insurance Fund. It was placed in receivership in October 2015 for alleged links to Gulen.
The Slieve Gallion joint venture licence, currently wholly owned by Koza Ltd, has great potential as a source of base metals and gold, Walkabout said in a statement.
It is located around 20 kilometres from Dalradian Resources’ (DLAR.L) Curraghinalt project, where the Canadian miner is seeking to build Northern Ireland’s first major underground mine.
Walkabout will get a 50 percent share of the Slieve Gallion joint venture if it spends a minimum of $500,000 in exploration and an additional 25 percent after a feasibility study.
Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Mark Potter