Barrick Gold and Reunion Gold have entered into an agreement to jointly explore, develop and mine certain mineral projects in the Guiana Shield in South America.

Under the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA), Barrick and Reunion will form a 50-50 alliance to develop the projects in the Guiana Shield, including Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and the north and north-east regions of Brazil, collectively known as the subject area.

Initially, Reunion will contribute the Waiamu, Aremu, Arawini and Oko Projects located in Guyana to the alliance and Barrick will fund an amount equal to $4.2m on these projects.

Subsequent funding will be made by Barrick and Reunion equally.

Barrick Gold president and CEO Mark Bristow said: “The SAA expands Barrick’s exploration footprint in the Guiana Shield, a significantly underexplored region and one of the most prospective in the world for large-scale gold discoveries.

“If Reunion acquires an interest in any mineral property in the subject area, Barrick can elect to include the new project in the alliance within 90 days.”

“The alliance will seek to identify and acquire properties that have the potential to yield discoveries consistent with Barrick’s definition of tier one mines, leveraging Reunion’s capabilities and proven track record in the region, combined with Barrick’s experience at advancing and developing world-class assets.”

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As long as the alliance remains in effect, if Reunion acquires an interest or an option to acquire an interest in any mineral property in the subject area, Barrick can elect to include the new project in the alliance within 90 days.

In case the project is included, Barrick will fund the initial costs and expenditures for the project in an amount equal to Reunion’s incurred costs on the project up to a maximum of $250,000.

Barrick can nominate an alliance project as a designated project and will solely fund it until the completion of a feasibility study, which will see the company’s interest in the project increase to 70%. Reunion will retain a 30% interest.