BHP has entered into an agreement to buy a small stake in an Australian junior mining company that owns and operates a copper-gold project in Ecuador.

The move, which will see the UK-listed miner acquire a 6.1% stake in Brisbane-based SolGold Plc from Guyana Goldfields Inc, is intended to boost BHP’s copper exploration portfolio and give it a bigger foothold in the Latin American country. The Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project is targeting output of 10 million tonnes of copper and 25 million ounces of gold over the life of the mine. It is part of the Andean copper belt, which SolGold believes should yield more large…