Canadian gold producer B2Gold has signed a deal worth up to $60m (C$80.66m) to purchase joint venture (JV) partner AngloGold Ashanti‘s 50% indirect stake in the Gramalote gold project in Colombia.

Upon deal completion by the end of the year, B2Gold will take sole ownership of the project in the regional capital of the Department of Antioquia in central Colombia.

The transaction was sealed after a feasibility study suggested that the project did not satisfy the JV’s investment thresholds for mine development.

The deal will help B2Gold add 2.11 million gold ounces of indicated mineral resources and 0.74 million gold ounces of inferred mineral resources to its consolidated mineral resource base.

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According to the company, taking full control of Gramalote would enable it to evaluate the project’s development prospects that are less capital-intensive and offer more returns.

This transaction has already secured the green light from the B2Gold board and currently awaits clearance from the South African Reserve Bank.

B2Gold will pay the acquisition consideration in cash on reaching certain milestones. This includes $20m on closing, followed by $10m once the company announces a construction decision on the project.

A further $10m will be paid if commercial production starts within five years of closing. If production does not begin within this time, no amount will be paid.

An additional $10m will be paid on the first anniversary of production at the project, followed by another $10m on the second anniversary of production.

Under the B2Gold-AngloGold Ashanti JV, the project was analysed on a larger scale, with an aim to bring growth to both companies.

The company will now assess smaller-scale project development options and work to identify cost-saving opportunities. It aims to launch a formal study on the project in Q4 2023 and conclude an initial assessment by Q2 2024.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Alberto Calderon said: “This sale will help increase our focus on our operating assets and the projects we intend to develop. AngloGold Ashanti remains a committed, long-term investor in Colombia with our exciting Quebradona copper and gold project and we look forward to playing a key role in developing a modern, responsible mining sector in the country.”