17/09/2015 - 11:55

Gold miners progress JV plans

17/09/2015 - 11:55

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Newcrest Mining is looking to increase its exploration acreage in West Africa through a proposed joint venture agreement with Perth-based company Taruga Gold, while AngloGold Ashanti has advanced plans to redevelop its Obuasi mine in Ghana.

Gold miners progress JV plans
Exploration activities at Taruga Gold's tenements in West Africa.

Newcrest Mining is looking to increase its exploration acreage in West Africa through a proposed joint venture agreement with Perth-based company Taruga Gold, while AngloGold Ashanti has advanced plans to redevelop its Obuasi mine in Ghana.

Under the terms of a heads of agreement, Newcrest can earn up to a 75 per cent stake on Taruga’s Dabakala project in Cote d’Ivoire if it spends $US1.7 million ($A2.4 million) on exploration expenditure within three years.

Newcrest owns concessions adjacent to Dabakala.

“This agreement with Newcrest further highlights Taruga’s success in identifying and securing prospective ground, undertaking early stage exploration and identifying an established gold producer to farm-in and assist Taruga with the required exploration expenditure,” Taruga managing director Bernard Aylward said.

“If the Newcrest transaction proceeds, Taruga will have secured two significant joint venture agreements this year with highly respected companies and our projects will see significant exploration activity and rapid advancement from the current early stage exploration.”

In February, Taruga entered into a joint venture agreement with Resolute Mining over three of its concessions in Cote d’Ivoire.

Meanwhile, AngloGold Ashanti has finalised an investment agreement with Randgold Resources with the aim of forming a joint venture between the two companies to redevelop and operate AngloGold’s Obuasi mine in Ghana.

Randgold will fund a plan to develop Obuasi, which was put on limited operations by AngloGold last year, when it stopped underground production and retrenched its workforce but started a feasibility study on the redevelopment of the mine.

If Randgold’s development plan satisfy’s both companies, they will be jointly responsible for the project’s redevelopment costs.

A Randgold entity will become operator of the mine, while the two companies will appoint an equal number of directors to the board of the joint venture company.

“Obuasi is a world-class resource. We now have to see if we can convert it into a world-class mine,” Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said.

“We have a long history of cooperation with AngloGold and we look forward to working with them again on charting a new course towards a viable future for Obuasi.”

Newcrest shares were 3.6 per cent higher to $11.82, Taruga shares were 3.1 per cent higher to 9.7 cents, and AngloGold shares were 6.6 per cent higher to $2.26 each at 11:45am.

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