West Africa focused gold company Perseus Mining has agreed to acquire a 15% holding in Canada-based gold developer Orca Gold for $13.7m (C$17.5m).

The stake will be acquired from Australia-based gold miner Resolute Mining .

Orca’s key assets include a 70% stake in the Block 14 Gold Project in northern Sudan, as well as a 31.5% stake in Canadian firm Montage Gold, which owns the Koné Gold Project in northern Côte d’Ivoire.

The deal will see Perseus purchasing a total of 39,092,233 common shares in Orca at C$0.4476 for each Orca share.

Perseus managing director and CEO Jeff Quartermaine said: “The acquisition of the 15% interest in Orca provides Perseus with a pivotal position in Orca that gives us a platform from which to further evaluate what appears to be a very exciting potential growth opportunity.

“Perseus has recently achieved an annualised gold production rate of 500,000oz of gold per year from its three existing operating mines, and while it expects to be able to maintain this level of production based on exploration success around its existing gold mines, we are always seeking to identify value accretive inorganic growth opportunities.”

The sale forms part of Resolute’s efforts to focus on its core operating assets.

Perseus also agreed to provide a $5m short-term loan facility to Orca, which is to be used by Orca for working capital and further exploration and development activities at the Block 14 project.

Perseus also said that it would reduce or raise its direct or indirect ownership, control or direction over securities of Orca in the future, based on market conditions and other potential factors. 

It also noted that there is ‘no assurance’ that the deal will be completed.