Canada’s Orea Mining has agreed to acquire an undivided 100% interest in the Maripa Gold Project, which is located in French Guiana, France.

The project will be acquired from a subsidiary of Canadian gold mining firm Iamgold.

In 2018, Orea signed an option agreement to acquire up to 70% in the Maripa project from Iamgold.

The deal was subject to meeting certain requirements, including incurring exploration expenditures of $5m within five years to acquire the initial stake of 50%.

As of 31 December 2021, Orea had incurred expenditures of $2.6m on the Maripa project.

Under the latest agreement, Orea will issue six million of its common shares to Iamgold to buy a 100% stake in the gold project.

Upon the completion of the deal, Iamgold will continue to own a 1.5% net smelter return royalty. Orea holds no further obligations under the option agreement. 

Orea president and CEO Rock Lefrancois said: “Maripa is a quality gold exploration project with high potential and exceptional geological setting.

“We are excited to accelerate outright acquisition on simple, low-cost and non-cash terms and flexibility on the development of the project.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Located in eastern French Guiana, 50km south of the capital city of Cayenne, the Maripa project comprises up to five contiguous exploration permits, covering an area of around 120km².

Several phases of exploration were conducted in the property, beginning with the Bureau MinierGuyanais (BMG) from 1958 to 1959. Iamgold carried out exploration from 2000 to 2008.

Last year, Orea Mining signed a binding term sheet (BTS) with an undisclosed firm to acquire a stake of up to 75% in a gold exploration project in Suriname.