Nickel miner Western Areas has struck a strategic alliance with its main Chinese customer Jinchuan to explore mining opportunities around the world.
The alliance will allow the two parties to "share assessment and due diligence costs on future evaluation of projects of mutual interest".
Western Areas managing director Daniel Lougher the company had been in partnership with Jinchuan through a very successful nickel concentrate offtake agreement for more than three years.
"Both companies agree that a logical extension of the relationship should be to assessing global base metal opportunities where this makes sense," he said.
The alliance is a non-exclusive arrangement with no upfront contributions.
Shares Western Areas, which will report its first-half results on Friday, were off three cents to $4.67 at 11.50am.