West African gold explorer and developer Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) has acquired an additional interest in the Abujar gold project in Cote d’Ivoire as it moves towards becoming the region’s next gold producer.
Abujar is located within the Abujar Middle tenement, held 100% by Tiebaya Gold Sarl – an entity in which Tietto owns a 90% interest, while two other partners hold 5% each.
However, under the Ivorian mining code, Tiebaya gold is required to incorporate a new Ivorian company to hold the mining licence. As part of this the Ivorian Government is allocated a 10% free carried interest – effectively paring Tietto’s interest back to 85% and reducing joint venture entities’ to a collective 5%.
Tietto has this week reached an agreement with the two individual joint venture partners to acquire 3% of their collective interest, which has boosted its own equity in Abujar from 85% to 88%.
In consideration of the acquisition, Tietto will issue 3.75 million ordinary shares at $0.62 per share as well as 2.5 million options (at the same price and with a three-year expiry) to each individual joint venture partner.
The partners will also each receive a cash payment of $262,000.
Payment of the consideration will occur within five business days from the date of the agreement and will be subject to Tietto’s available capacity under ASX listing rules.
The Abujar gold project comprises three contiguous tenements at Abujar South, Abujar Middle and Abujar North over a total land area of 1,114 square kilometres, of which less than 10% has been explored.
At Abujar South, Tietto holds a 100% interest and currently a 15% interest in Abujar North through its equity interest in Gail Exploration Sarl.
It is also working to earn an 80% interest in a future mining licence within Abujar North.
Tietto has substantially advanced Abujar’s development since starting exploration in mid‐2015, so far identifying three mineralised gold corridors and a total of 33 gold prospects.
The 3.02 million ounce project includes resources from three prospects hosted within the Central Corridor: 49.6 million tonnes at 1.5 grams per tonne gold for 2.3Moz at the Abujar Gludehi (AG) prospect; 31Mt at 0.7g/t for 0.7Moz at Abujar Pischon and Golikro (APG); and 0.5Mt at 1.4g/t for 0.02Moz at South Gamina (SG).
The combined strike length of these prospects accounts for approximately 10% of the overall strike length of the 70km-long mineralised Abujar gold corridor.
Tietto has planned systematic drilling to test prospects identified to date, using six of its own diamond drill rigs.
Tietto is currently progressing a pre-feasibility study for Abujar, scheduled for delivery this quarter.
In anticipation of its release, the company’s board has approved $3.28 million in early project work including site access upgrade, existing camp improvement, new mining camp material preparation, a power line corridor survey, and the purchase of long‐lead items required for mine development.