01/07/2021 - 16:52

Troy draws gold major Barrick into Guiana Shield gold hunt

01/07/2021 - 16:52

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ASX-listed Troy Resources has attracted global gold major Barrick Gold Corp into its large Karouni gold project in Guyana. A new joint venture agreement will see Barrick target tier-one gold finds in the southern part of Troy’s ground, including around the exciting Potaro prospect, while the Australian company continues to explore and develop in the north.

Gold major Barrick Gold Corp has joined ASX-listed Troy Resources in a hunt for tier-one gold deposits in Guyana. Credit: File

ASX-listed Troy Resources has attracted global gold major Barrick Gold Corp into its large Karouni gold project in Guyana. A new joint venture agreement will see Barrick target tier-one gold finds in the southern part of Troy’s ground, including around the exciting Potaro prospect, while the Australian company continues to explore and develop in the north.

The deal sees Barrick tip US$1.2m into Troy for a 4.9% stake in the company.

Barrick can earn up to 51 per cent of Karouni by completing exploration milestones and a pre-feasibility study, or “PFS”. The major’s primary exploration focus is Potaro, a new target under sand cover about 25km from Troy’s operating Karouni gold plant.

Barrick can earn an extra 19% interest in the joint venture by completing a feasibility study. Additionally, if a decision is made to proceed with development and the construction of a mine, Troy has the option to require Barrick to provide Troy’s share of the financing for the project for a further 10% ownership interest.

Barrick will be the operator of the JV project and will receive a management fee of 5% of all expenditure incurred.

Troy retains 100% of its northern exploration tenements around its Smarts open pit and proposed underground mine, recently granted approvals by the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission. The northern area also includes highly prospective and underexplored targets such as Upper Itaki, Gem Creek and Kaburi Hills.

Troy acquired Kourani in 2013 and since July 2017 has produced more than 150,000 ounces of gold from the Smarts and Hicks open pits. The 288,000-ounce underground resource below the Smarts open pit has an average grade of 3.3 grams per tonne gold and is expected to become the primary source of feed for Troy’s Kourani mill. The company is in the final stages of concluding a pre-feasibility study for what will be the first underground mine in Guyana.

Troy Resources Managing Director Ken Nilsson said:

Having identified this opportunity approximately two years ago, we were very pleased to have recently been able to aggregate a sizeable tenement package over this area. Situated under significant sand cover, exploration of Potaro and other targets will be significantly enhanced by the involvement of Barrick and their exploration team. I could not be more pleased to welcome Barrick as both our business partner and shareholder.”

Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said Troy had effectively aggregated a sizeable tenement position covering “what we consider as a very prospective part of the Karouni Basin”.

Mr Bristow said: “We have capitalised on our knowledge of West African Birimian greenstone gold deposits, to identify the Karouni Basin as a priority area of interest. The geological similarities between the West African Birimian and the Guiana Shield are well established, however the exploration in the Guiana Shield is quite immature by comparison. We look forward to combining Barrick’s technical and financial resources with Troy’s established in country team and knowledge, to advance exploration over the project tenements with the aim to deliver new world class gold discoveries.”

Troy says the recently acquired Potaro target is in a highly prospective area within a major bend in the regionally significant crustal shear zone, the Makaba Kuribrong Shear Zone. Management says the shear zone is a well-endowed geological structure that runs through the Proterozoic Guiana Shield from Guyana to neighbouring Suriname and French Guyana, and hosts several multi-million-ounce gold deposits such as Newmont Mining’s Merian and IAMGOLD’s Rosebel.

Guyana is a relatively young exploration jurisdiction with many positive national attributes that make it attractive to exploration. The similarity in greenstone belt geology with West African countries on the other side of the Atlantic- the two continents were once joined - suggests the Barrick-Troy union could be the start of a long-lasting partnership.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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