Precipitate Gold said Barrick had mobilised two rigs to its adjacent Pueblo Grande project, where the gold major can earn up to 70% under a six-year, US$10 million deal announced in April.
Barrick told Precipitate it would drill 12 to 15 holes testing targets within the "Lithocap zone", immediately west and northwest of the Pueblo Viejo mine.
Precipitate president and CEO Jeffrey Wilson said he was excited to see drilling get underway and pleased with the work to date by Barrick's exploration team.
"The opportunity to see several targets previously delineated and prioritised by Precipitate's exploration team now being the subject of a substantial exploration drill programme is an exciting and positive step forward for the project as part of our earn-in agreement with one of the world's premier gold mining companies," he said.
Barrick operates Pueblo Viejo, which is 40%-owned by Newmont and expected to produce 530,000-580,000 ounces for Barrick this year at an all-in sustaining cost of $720-$770/oz.
Precipitate had acquired Pueblo Grande in 2019 and has two other exploration projects in the Dominican Republic.
Barrick owns about 12% of the junior.
Precipitate shares (TSXV: PRG), which have ranged from C5-45c over the past year, closed up 18.4% to 22.5c yesterday, capitalising it at $23.9 million (US$18.8 million).