Under a binding memorandum of agreement, Bezant will spend up to US$200,000 on initial assessment of the licence area by February 1, 2020, though it will maintain the right to stop expenditure at any time and withdraw from the option.
Bezant executive chairman Colin Bird said initial assessment would start on clearly defined veins, with apparent significant strike and potential to start small-scale ore supply to third-party processing plants.
Under the agreement, all spending during the initial expenditure phase will be invested directly in the project, with none going to Buffalo's sponsors.
If the initial assessment is successful, Bezant will present KPZ with a detailed budget before May 1, 2020, to conduct initial test drilling and produce a scoping study on the project.
KPZ can then decide whether it wants to fund its 50% share of the scoping study costs and, if so, will be required to confirm this by June 1, 2020. If not, KPZ will be diluted to a 25% equity interest in Buffalo and Bezant's interest will increase to 75% in return for funding the entire scoping study.
Bezant CEO Laurence Read said the agreement fitted with Bezant's global copper mission and the company planned to "swiftly assess and analyse all potential copper development opportunities for the Buffalo project".
The 398-hectare project 300km north-west of Lusaka is within the Zambian iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) belt, with the copper exploration licence running from March 1, 2013, to February 28, 2023, and an application to extend the licence to include gold exploration.
Bezant said composite grab sample collected from the ore zone assayed 3.17% copper and 0.97g/t gold, with a steeply dipping mineralised zone traced over 80m along strike and continuing into the hillside, 15-20m wide, with central high-grade gossan zone 3-5m across.
It added historic exploration and mining had taken place in the late 1800s and a 6% copper zone reported by Rhodesia Congo Border Concession in the 1920s from pitting in siliceous, brecciated and hematitic siltstone.
"Four diamond holes drilled in the 1960s by Chartered Exploration Limited recorded a best intercept of 28m at 1.07% copper, including 6m at 1.87% copper," Bezant said.
There is limited small-scale mining in the project area on obviously visible ore outcrops, with the ore hand sorted after extraction and sent for further upgrade.
Bird said Zambia had "excellent copper mining fundamentals" and was known for its transparent mining legislation.
"The Buffalo project is a well-established concession, which has the benefit of good historic work more directed to small scale mining. The Central Zambian IOCG belt has significant exploration potential, but has always played a secondary role to the main copper belt in Zambia to the north which has hosted many large, world-class underground copper mines," he said.