Altus Strategies, a UK-based copper ores company, has signed a variation and accession deed with Resolute Mining to extend the companies’ involvement in the 106km² Pitiangoma Est joint venture in southern Mali until May 2021.

The project is located nearly 15km south of the Tabakoroni mine and 40km south of the Syama gold mine, both belonging to Resolute.

Under the terms of the agreement, Resolute will earn an initial 70% interest by funding $3m in exploration and by completing a feasibility study; and Altus Strategies will retain option to co-fund its 30% interest on a pro rata basis or exchange its interest for a 2% net smelter return royalty.

Resolute is currently completing drilling work at the project.

Altus Strategies chief executive Steven Poulton said: “We are pleased to sign this two year extension with Resolute on the Pitiangoma Est project in Southern Mali. The Project is located on a key geological belt that also hosts the Syama and Tabakoroni gold mines.

“Resolute are currently undertaking drilling in parallel with other work programmes and we look forward to updating shareholders on the exploration results in due course.”

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Prior to the formation of the joint venture with Resolute, exploration at Pitiangoma Est included regolith sampling, lithological mapping, airborne VTEM geophysics, BLEG stream sediment sampling and RC drilling, as well as diamond drilling.

“Resolute are currently undertaking drilling in parallel with other work programmes and we look forward to updating shareholders in due course.”

Endeavour Mining, which held the project prior to the company’s acquisition by Legend Gold, completed these programmes.

After the commencement of the joint venture, Resolute completed a gradient array IP survey, 329 air core drill holes for a total of 14,193m and seven RC drill holes for a total of 708m and drilling is underway following up anomalies identified by the air core drilling.

The joint venture was originally formed between Resolute and Legend with Altus superseding Legend after completion of the Plan of Arrangement with Legend in January 2018. Legend and Resolute entered the joint venture on 6 May 2015.