Prospect generator group Pacific Empire Minerals Corp (CVE: PEMC) told investors that a partner -funded diamond drilling program has restarted on the Stars copper property in BC.
Last November, the firm inked an option deal with ML Gold Corp (CVE: MLG), whereby it (ML Gold) can earn up to a 30% interest in Stars, in which the company currently holds 50%.
As well as cash payments and share issues over two years, ML Gold will spend a minimum of C$4.5mln on exploration over three years.
PEMC will have a carried interest in the project until the completion of a pre-feasibility study, after which a joint venture will begin.
The current work is aimed at testing magnetic targets within the recently identified Central area and expand the newly discovered Zone 4 where a recent hole from partner ML Gold Corp (CVE: MLG) hit 204 meters at 0.5% copper equivalent from surface.
"Having multiple ongoing drill programs has always been an objective for us," said Brad Peters, the president and chief executive of Pacific Empire.
"We are pleased to see our partner commencing a second round of diamond drilling following positive results from the initial diamond drilling campaign and information gathered from an airborne magnetic survey."
At the central area, the firm is targeting the newly identified circular magnetic low area with several inlying anomalies.
The central area is interpreted to be a possible porphyry system, the firm said.
Zone 4 - another target - is a newly discovered zone identified on the margin of the main intrusion where mineralization has been identified in both the volcanic and intrusive rocks.
It shows significant similarities to the mineralization style and setting of the Huckleberry mine 60km to the south.
ML Gold's current drilling will be collared from existing areas of disturbance aimed to test new areas while it awaits the near-term granting of permits for new drill sites allowing for greater step-out drilling locations, the firm added.
Pacific Empire shares were unchanged at C$0.16.