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Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC

Loncor Resources says it’s further strengthened its joint venture relationship with Barrick Gold in the Democratic Republic of Congo after entering two new agreements.
Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC Loncor, Barrick strengthen JV in DRC

Drilling by Barrick Gold at Anguluku, part of a Loncor JV in the DRC, in July

Staff reporter

The pair already had a number of joint venture agreements on the Ngayu gold belt, with Loncor saying the gold major was "looking for another Kibali" - referring to Barrick's mine about 220km away which produced a record 814,000 ounces in 2019.

Under the first agreement, three Barrick properties northwest of Loncor's circa 1.2 million ounce Makapela project were added to an existing JV agreement.

Under the second, the Isiro JV was replaced with a new agreement focused on "the three most prospective Isiro properties".

Loncor said Barrick had delineated drill targets at both properties and at one of the JV projects added in June

The pair's joint venture acreage in Ngayu now totals about 2,000sq.km.

Loncor said the latest agreements were similar and Barrick would manage and fund exploration until completion of a prefeasibility study.

After deciding to move to a feasibility study, Barrick would hold 65% and Loncor 35%, subject to the DRC's free-carried interest requirements.

"We are very encouraged with Barrick's decision to further enhance the exploration potential of our joint ventures, especially when they have already delineated a number of high potential drill targets such as Yambenda and Mokepa," Loncor CEO Arnold Kondrat said.

Loncor is also aiming for "another Kibali-like deposit" at its majority-owned Imbo project on the Ngayu belt, where drilling is underway to expand the 2.5Moz resource.

Management (27%), dual-listed Resolute Mining (26%) and Newmont (6%) are its major shareholders, according to an October presentation.

Its shares (TSX: LN) have ranged from 31.5-89c over the past year.

They closed unchanged at 74c to capitalise it at $83 million (US$63 million).

Barrick closed down 0.3% yesterday to $33.68 and is valued at $59.9 billion (US$45.8 billion).