Montage Gold has signed a cash-stock deal, worth $23.9m (C$30m), to purchase a 100% stake in the Mankono-Sissédougou joint venture (JV) project in Côte d’Ivoire from Barrick Gold and Endeavour Mining.

This acquisition is expected to expand the Canadian precious metals explorer and developer’s Koné gold project in the West African country.

The JV project comprises three properties located within the perimeter of the Koné project.

These properties include the Gbongogo permit application, the Sissédougou exploration permit, and the Sisséplé permit application.

In addition to Montage’s current land holdings, they create a contiguous block of 1,295km² in exploration permits, as well as another 964km² in exploration permit applications.

Under the agreed terms, Montage will pay C$14.5m in cash and issue 22.14 million of its shares at C$0.70 apiece for the takeover.

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The Canadian firm will also provide 2% net smelter return royalty on the project.

The consideration would be allocated 70% to Barrick and 30% to Endeavour, as per their relative stakes in the project.

Upon completion of the transaction, Barrick and Endeavour will hold 9.93% and 4.26% of Montage, respectively.

Montage CEO Hugh Stuart said: “This is an important step for Montage, with the addition of Mankono, our consolidated land position at the Koné Gold Project will increase to over 2,250km² in one of the most prolific gold belts in West Africa.

“Previous exploration at Mankono has identified a number of target areas and Montage intends to explore these targets aggressively, with the objective of adding high grade satellite feed into the KGP.”

This deal is scheduled for completion within six months, subject to the award of the Gbongogo exploration permit, among others.

“The Gbongogo permit application area has been explored by Randgold (Barrick) since 2013, and the Sissédougou and Sisséplé areas by Endeavour, and previously La Mancha Resources since 2010. The Mankono joint venture was as formed in 2017 and exploration has been managed by Barrick since that time, with Barrick owning 70% of MEL as operator and Endeavour owning 30%,” Montage said in a statement.