Barrick Gold pulls out of Alicanto joint venture agreement

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana Image: USAF

Alicanto Minerals will retain 100 per cent ownership of the Arakaka gold project in Guyana, South America, following Barrick Gold’s decision to pull out of an earn-in agreement established in March 2016 and renewed last December.

Barrick has spent over $US7.1 million ($9.6 million) on exploration since the inception of the joint venture (JV) between the two companies.

Under the original terms of the agreement set out in 2016, Barrick had the opportunity to earn up to a 65 per cent interest in the Arakaka project by funding $US10 million (including $US8 million in exploration) within four years and paying $US2 million to Alicanto on completion of the earn-in spend.

Upon the announcement that Barrick was pulling out of Arakaka, Alicanto’s shares fell sharply yesterday from 7.6 cents a share to 5.8 cents a share.

However, the company now hopes to capitalise on Barrick’s findings, and concentrate on areas that have been on hold, particularly the Gomes prospect, which has returned promising stats such as 19.2m at 3.4 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, including 6m at 6.25g/t.

Despite its premature end, Alicanto managing director Travis Schwertfeger espoused the benefits that the JV with Barrick Gold had brought to the company since 2016.

“The company has benefitted from a strong working relationship with Barrick and with over $US7 million spent on exploration over the past two years without diluting our shareholders,” he said. “Alicanto is now well positioned to follow up on numerous high-grade targets more befitting of a junior mining company.”

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