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ASX-listed Exore Resources has signed an earn-in and joint venture agreement with a local Ivorian company Smart Mineral Exploration to earn-in to an 80% joint venture interest over a granted exploration permit covering 380 km2 located less than 15 km from Exore’s Bagoe project in northern Cote d’Ivoire.

Cote d’Ivoire – The joint venture (JV) will increase Exore’s dominant and strategic ground position within the highly prospective northern Cote d’Ivoire greenstone belts to 1 725 km2.

The company’s ground position is located on the convergence of two of West Africa’s most prolific gold belts – the Tongon Gold Belt and the Syama Gold Belt, which extend into northern Côte d’Ivoire from Burkina Faso and Mali respectively.

Significant nearby gold deposits associated with the same geology and structures include:

▪ 4.2 Moz Tongon gold mine (Barrick)

▪ 11.5 Moz Syama gold mine (Resolute)

▪ 1 Moz Sissingue gold mine (Perseus)

▪ Fonondara /Boundiali gold discovery (Barrick)

Exore has the right to earn-in to an 80% interest in the granted permit through expenditure of US$1 million over three years, with a minimum expenditure of $0.2 million in the first year (after which Exore may withdraw at any time). Exore has the right to acquire an additional 10% interest on completion of a definitive feasibility study to take its joint venture interest to 90%.

Work begins on new gold project in Côte d’Ivoire

“From the outset, it has been a strategy of Exore’s to amass a dominant land position in northern Cote d’Ivoire where we see the potential for major gold discoveries. This additional granted permit is highly complementary to our existing granted permits being in close proximity to the company’s Veronique and Antoinette gold discoveries,” says Exore Resources MD Justin Tremain.

Past exploration

Regional, wide spaced sampling of soil and surface lag material was initially undertaken by Randgold during 1998-1999. The area subsequently became part of Perseus Mining’s Tengrela project which undertook limited RAB, AC, RC and DD drilling during 2010-2012 before the exploration permit came to its end in 2015.

An exploration application was subsequently lodged over the area by Smart Mineral Exploration and the exploration permit granted to Smart Mineral Explorationin November 2017.

The Logbog anomaly is north-south striking and extends for approximately 4 km. The anomaly is hosted within Birimian meta-sediments and mafic volcanics, proximal to the contact with a granite. Shallow RAB and RC drilling by Perseus was limited and tested less than 1 km of the anomaly.

All currently defined exploration prospects with the permit area are within 10km of the high quality Boundiali-Tengrela bitumen highway.

Earn-in and JV terms

Under the earn-in and JV agreement entered into with Smart Mineral Exploration, Exore is to make four annual cash payments of minor immaterial amounts and may progressively earn an 80% joint venture interest by:

  • Incurring exploration expenditure of $200 000 in the first 12 months to earn an initial 51% JV interest (at which time Exore has the right to request to have the permit transferred to a newly incorporated entity held 51% by Exore);
  • Incurring exploration expenditure of a further $300 000 in the second year to increase its JV interest to 60%;
  • Incurring exploration expenditure of a further $500 000 in the third year to increase its JV interest to 80%.

Smart Mineral Exploration’s remaining 20% JV interest will be free carried by Exore until completion of a DFS. Upon completion of a DFS, Exore will have a 60-day right to acquire a further 10% joint venture interest from Smart Mineral Explorationfor $1.5 million. Exore is to be the sole manager and have sole decision-making rights and holds pre-emptive rights over Smart Mineral Exploration’s residual interest.