Canadian mining company Xali Gold has entered an option agreement with mining giant Barrick Gold for its Tres Marias gold-silver property in Peru.

As per the agreement, Xali Gold will receive $175,000 (C$237,614) over a five-year period from Barrick, which is also required to spend $500,000 on exploration work to earn a 100% stake in the property.

The option agreement is subject to Xali retaining a 1.5% net smelter return royalty. Barrick will hold a right to buy 1% of the royalty, for a single one-time payment of $750,000, which, in turn, will reduce Xali’s royalty from 1.5% to 0.5%.

Tres Marias is located 35km from Puno District in southern Peru. It sits within an emerging epithermal gold, silver and polymetallic belt in the region where several new mines are present, along with discoveries by Barrick, Minas Buenaventura, Gold Fields, Aruntani and Bear Creek.

Xali Gold claims to have detected several gold and silver mineralisation targets for exploration at the Tres Marias property. Particularly, three veins with high grades of silver (Ag) with lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) mineralisation were found.

Chip samples from the outcrop at a 1m width indicated 11.03 ounces per tonne of Ag, 378 grams per tonne of Ag, 2.05% of Pb and 0.07% of Zn.

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The three veins are the gold-silver Pataqueña low sulphidation vein system and alteration zone over 1km x 2.5km; the Sorachata high-sulphidation alteration zone over 0.7km x 1.2km; and the San Francisco high-sulphidation alteration zone over 0.5km x 2km.

Anomalous gold levels were also found in high-sulphidation style alteration around the veins. Historic and collapsed mine workings and remnants of a small smelting surface were also found. These date back to the time of Spanish explorers in the late 1800s.

Xali Gold president and CEO Joanne Freeze said: “Xali Gold’s history in the area dates as far back as 2002 when the Candente Resources Peru team recognised a superposition of both high and low-sulfidation styles of mineralisation, alteration and geochemical anomalies, which manifested in both high-grade vein hosted silver mineralisation, as well as potential for bulk tonnage high-sulfidation style gold mineralisation.

“We are very excited to have Barrick as our partner for this project in Peru as they have excellent technical skills and aggressive exploration plans for the area.”

In June 2023, Valor Resources entered an earn-in agreement with Barrick, where the latter had the option to acquire a stake in the Charaque copper-silver exploration project in Peru.

As per the agreement, Barrick can hold a five-year option to acquire a 70% stake in the property.