Canada-based Montage Gold has signed an agreement with affiliates of Barrick Gold and Endeavour Mining to acquire the Mankono-Sissédougou joint venture (JV) project in Côte d’Ivoire.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Canadian miner will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Mankono Exploration (MEL), which indirectly owns Mankono.

It will pay a total consideration of C$30m ($24m), which includes C$14.5m ($11.5m) in cash, and the issue of 22,142,857 Montage common shares, in addition to a 2% NSR royalty.

In addition, Montage has signed an agreement with Stifel GMP on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters to raise nearly C$20m ($16m) in financing.

The underwriters have agreed to purchase around 28.6 million subscription receipts at C$0.70 ($0.56) per subscription receipt, and the financing is expected to close on 7 July 2022.

Montage intends to use the financing to pay the cash portion of the consideration and fund its business plan for the acquired properties, after the closing of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to complete within the coming six months, subject to granting of the Gbongogo Exploration Permit by the government of Côte d’Ivoire.

Upon closing of the transaction, Montage will issue a total of 50,714,286 common shares and will have 156,054,290 issued and outstanding common shares, on a pro forma basis.

Montage CEO Hugh Stuart said: “This is an important step for Montage, with the addition of Mankono, our consolidated land position at the Koné Gold Project will increase to over 2,250km2 in one of the most prolific gold belts in West Africa.

“Previous exploration at Mankono has identified a number of target areas and Montage intends to explore these targets aggressively with the objective of adding high-grade satellite feed into the KGP.”

The project contains three properties, Sissédougou Exploration Permit, Gbongogo, and Sisséplé, all situated within the perimeter of Montage’s Koné Gold Project (KGP).

Koné gold project is located in northwest Côte d’Ivoire and currently hosts a probable mineral reserve of 161.1Mt grading 0.66g/t for 3.42M ounces of gold.

Together with the company’s existing land holdings, the three prospects form a contiguous block spanning a total area of 2,259km².

Barrick’s subsidiary Randgold has been exploring the Gbongogo property since 2013, while the Endeavour and previously La Mancha Resources exploring Sissédougou and Sisséplé areas since 2010.

The Mankono Joint Venture was as formed in 2017, where Barrick owns 70% of MEL and serves as the operator, and Endeavour owns the remaining 30%.