Manas Resources (ASX: MSR) has pegged up more ground in West Africa after agreeing to earn up to 70% of Perseus Mining’s (ASX: PRU) Mbengue gold project in Cote d’Ivoire.
Mbengue encompasses almost 400 square kilometres and its less than 10km from Randgold Resources’ (LSE: RRL) Tongon mine and 90km from Perseus’ Sissingue operation.
Perseus previous explored across Mbengue and identified soil anomalies, which were followed up with drilling.
The company’s drilling uncovered the K1 prospect where a 69m intersection grading 7.8 grams per tonne was produced.
“The earn-in agreement over the strategically located Mbengue gold project provides an opportunity for the company to rapidly accelerate exploration activities in Cote d’Ivoire,” Manas Resources chairman Mark Calderwood said.
“With several walk-up drill targets already outlined from previous exploration work, we look forward to providing regular news flow on this exciting acquisition in the months ahead,” he added.
The Mbengue permit comes up for renewal in December this year and is in good standing due to Perseus Mining’s exploration expenditure.
To-date, Perseus has grabbed 850 soil samples, 1,656 auger samples, drilled 254 air core holes, a further 230 rotary air blast holes and 152 reverse circulation holes for a combined 29,536m.
As part of its acquisition, Manas Resource will complete a detailed review of all previous exploration including geophysical data.
The company has pencilled in an initial diamond drilling program to validate previously reported results and establish orientation, width and strike length of the mineralisation found so far.
Manas Resources stated it would fund its exploration plans from its existing working capital allocations.
Under the acquisition terms, Manas Resources has committed US$300,000 to exploration across Mbengue within the next six months to evaluate the project further before it comes up for renewal.
After its exploration spend, Manas Resources will secure a 20% stake in the project if it elects to proceed with the acquisitions.
To lock-in the 70% interest, Manas Resources will spend US$2 million, which includes the initial US$300,000 outlay, on exploration over three years.
The market reacted positively to Manas Resources’ news this morning with the stock price up 25% to A$0.50.