Perseus Mining has bagged key stakes in two African gold assets, after striking a deal to acquire a 15% stake in Canadian junior Orca Gold from Resolute Mining.
The firm announced it has secured an interest in Orca’s 70%-owned Block 14 gold project in northern Sudan and a 31.5% stake in Montage Gold, which has the Kone gold project in northern Côte d’Ivoire. Resolute Mining, said that the share sale was part of its strategic focus on core operating assets, adding it would help to strengthen its balance sheet.
Perseus will provide Orca with a $5 million short-term loan facility for exploration and development of the Block 14 gold project. The debt facility is due to be repaid at the end of June, with interest charged at a rate of 7.5% a year.
Block 14 is an open cut gold project with the potential to produce 200,000-300,000 ounces annually during its 13 year mine-life. Scoping work at the asset has shown its potential as a 15-year, 200,000 plus ounces per year operation, which is expected to churn out more than 300,000 gold ounces per annum during its second and third year of production. Perseus also revealed it has been in talks with Orca to potentially acquire all of the junior’s outstanding securities. These negotiations are ongoing.
Given Perseus’ interest and history in Côte d’Ivoire, the company’s main target may be the Kone project, located about 350 km north-west of Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital. The firm has recently achieved an annualized gold production rate of 500,000 ounces of gold per year from its three existing operating mines: Edikan in Ghana, and Sissingué and Yaouré in Côte d’Ivoire.