Canada-based Montage Gold has acquired a 100% indirect interest in the Mankono Sissédougou joint venture project in Côte d’Ivoire from subsidiaries of Barrick Gold and Endeavour Mining.

The Canadian firm purchased Mankono Exploration for total consideration of C$30m, which includes C$14.5m ($11.5m) in cash and 22,142,857 Montage common shares, in addition to a 2% NSR royalty.

The JV project comprises three properties located within the perimeter of the Montage’s Koné gold project (KGP).

These properties include the Gbongogo and Sisséplé permit applications, as well as the Sissédougou exploration permit.

With the completion of the transaction, Barrick and Endeavour now hold 9.93% and 4.26% stakes, respectively, in Montage.

Montage CEO Rick Clark said: “With the addition of Mankono, our consolidated land position grows to more than 2,250km² over one of the most prolific gold belts in West Africa at the centre of which is our Koné deposit.

“Drilling has started on our newly acquired ground looking to add higher-grade resources to the Koné development plan. Based on our evaluation of the historic data from Mankono we believe that, in addition to the inferred mineral resource at Gbongogo, the rest of the Mankono land package has the real potential for additional discoveries of 0.8Moz to 1.2Moz at similar grades (between 1.5g/t-2.5g/t Au).”

Montage plans to undertake exploration work in the next seven months, which will cover 25,000m of drilling across 11 target areas.

For the next 12 months, Montage plans to focus on district exploration with the primary objective of adding multiple high-grade satellite deposits to an expanded Koné Gold Project.