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Barrick pulls out of Guyana gold project

(From Mining Journal) Alicanto Minerals will go it alone at the Arakaka gold project in Guyana after Barrick Gold withdrew from a joint venture.

Barrick had spent US$7.1 million on exploration at the project, just shy of the $8 million it was required to spend to earn 65% under a March 2016 earn-in agreement. Alicanto will retain 100% of the project. Alicanto said Barrick’s work had identified multiple targets, including a number of higher grade prospects that sat outside Barrick’s size criteria.

The company is seeking to follow-up work at the Gomes prospect, where drilling hit 19.2m at 3.4 grams per tonne gold, including 6m at 6.25gpt gold, and the Purple Heart structure after previous work hit 13.5m at 7.4gpt gold.

Trenching at Eyelash returned 2m at 33.4gpt gold and 0.6m at 68.4gpt gold. “The company has benefitted from a strong working relationship with Barrick, and with over $7 million spent on exploration over the past two years without diluting our shareholders,” Alicanto managing director Travis Schwertfeger said. “Alicanto is now well-positioned to follow up on numerous high-grade targets more befitting of a junior mining company.”

Previous explorers at Arakaka, including Newmont Mining, have spent more than $20 million on the project. Alicanto also owns the Ianna gold project, 25km south-east of Arakaka.

In February, the company said the maiden drill program at Ianna highlighted the potential for a multimillion ounce deposit. The first 11 holes intersected “substantial gold mineralisation”, with a headline hit of 89m grading 1.02gpt. Alicanto had A$3.1 million cash at the end of March, including $600,000 received from Barrick for Arakaka exploration.