Canada’s B2Gold (TSX, NYSE: BTO) has signed a deal with partner AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (ASX:AGG) (NYSE:AU) that will allow the mid-tier miner to increase its stake in the Gramalote project in Colombia to 50% and become its manager.
As part of the deal, B2Gold will fund investment and
exploration at Gramalote next year to the value of $13.9 million and will
assume management of the project in January 2020.
The companies have also agreed on a feasibility study budget of about $40 million to fund 42,500 metres of infill drilling and 7,645 metres of geotechnical drilling for site infrastructure.
B2Gold said it expected to complete those activities by the
end of May 2020.
The budget will also fund feasibility work, including an
updated mineral resource, detailed mine planning, additional environmental
studies, metallurgical test work, engineering and detailed economic analysis, the
Vancouver-based company said.
“We believe the Gramalote project has the potential to
become a low-cost open pit gold mine,” B2Gold chief executive, Clive Johnson,
said. “The project has several key infrastructure advantages including reliable
water supply, close proximity to key infrastructure and a technically capable
workforce in country.”
AngloGold, which also has operations in South Africa, wholly-owns another project in Colombia. That venture, the Quebradona copper and gold project is currently undergoing a feasibility study, the company said in a separate statement.
The joint venture partners believe
that Gramalote project, located 230 km. northwest of Bogotá, has the potential
to become a large, low-cost open pit gold mine.