Reunion Gold has signed a strategic alliance agreement with Barrick Gold to form a 50:50 partnership to jointly explore, develop and mine certain mineral projects in the Guiana Shield, Suriname, French Guiana and the North and Northeast regions of Brazil.
Reunion and Barrick have signed an agreement to define terms for the identification of mineral properties and mining projects. Parallel to the signing of the agreement, Barrick has agreed to increase its interest in Reunion from 15% to 19.9% through subscribing to the shares of the company.
Initially, Reunion is contributing Guyana project to the alliance that include the Waiamu, Aremu, Arawini and Oko projects. Barrick will initially provide a funding $4.2m on the initial included projects, as credit for exploration expenditures spent by Reunion in the past.
Reunion president and CEO Réjean Gourde said: “This Alliance addresses the concerns faced by explorers worldwide. The combination of skills, knowledge, working together creates the conditions necessary for exploration and development success. The Guiana Shield is one of the best remaining places in the world for large scale gold discoveries.
“The Alliance creates the opportunity to deploy skills and expertise effectively and efficiently. The Guiana Shield has been overlooked for a variety of historical reasons, including remoteness, lack of infrastructure, knowledge of how to conduct effective tropical exploration and an understanding of local conditions and laws.”
Furthermore, during the alliance in effect, if Reunion acquires an interest or an option to acquire an interest in any mineral property, it has to present the new project to Barrick, which will have 90 days to elect to include the new project.
If included, Barrick is liable to fund the initial costs for the project that equals to Reunion’s incurred costs on the project up to $250,000.
The included project can be designated any time by Barrick and the projects become “Designated Project”. Barrick is expected to fund the Designated Project until the completion of a feasibility study.
Once the feasibility study completes, Barrick’s interest in the Designated Project will increase to 70% and Reunion will retain a 30% interest.
All exploration projects within the alliance will be managed by Reunion until they become Designated Projects. On the other hand, Barrick will manage all Designated Projects.
Gourde added: “The Alliance combines long-term local knowledge and record of success of the Reunion team together with the industry-leading skills and knowledge of Barrick. This combination focused on the Guiana Shield creates a greatly enhanced opportunity of success. The gold industry is in its infancy in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
“In summary, you have one of the best geological environments in the world with political and social support and local acceptance for exploration and development which is being conducted by responsible companies in a professional manner.”