Cradle Arc said the JV move was in line with its "stated strategy to retain exposure to its African gold exploration portfolio and potential upside whilst minimising its exploration and development spend".
CEO Kevin van Wouw said the agreement would allow Cradle Arc to advance the highly prospective West Africa gold assets, while maintaining its primary strategic focus on the development of the flagship Mowana copper mine in Botswana.
As part of the JV, Indiana will fund all costs up to and including the completion of a pre-feasibility study to gain a 65% participating interest in the project, which comprises the Kobokoto Est and Koussikoto exploration permits.
Thereafter, all costs will be split between the JV parties according to their participating interest.
Van Wouw said this set up would result in minimal impact on Cradle Arc's balance sheet as it continued to focus on its core asset.
The JV partners aim to establish a new company for the future development of Kossanto West, in which the JV will own 90% and 10% will be held by the Malian government. This will leave Cradle Arc with a 31.5% interest in the project and Indiana with 58.5%.
Cradle Arc said the project's initial work programme was expected to be undertaken by Indiana over the first year and included further geological mapping of Kossanto West with potential follow up pitting and trenching activities and reconnaissance drilling.
The company has two other JV projects, Kossanto East and Karan.