Thor Explorations Ltd. [THX-TSXV] said Monday April 5 that it has acquired Barrick Gold Corp.’s [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] 51% interest in the Houndé Project in southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa and now holds a 100% interest in the project. Thor has acquired the interest in exchange for a 1% net smelter royalty.

The agreement announced on Monday terminates a 2015 earn-in agreement between Thor and Acacia Mining Plc, a company that was acquired by Barrick in 2019.

The Centra Houndé Project consists of three early stage exploration permits in the highly prospective Houndé Greenstone belt approximately 260 km southwest of Ouagadougou. The three permits cover a total area of 474 km2 of the Houndé Belt. A total of 20,208 reverse circulation and 3,156 metres of diamond drilling have been completed within the licenses to date.

“We are pleased to have regained a 100% interest in the Central Houndé Project, which lies in one of West Africa’s highly regarded Biriminian greenstone belts,” said Thor President and CEO Segun Lawson.

“In recent years, the joint venture has undertaken diligent exploration programs which have resulted in the identification of several targets that have been outlined by preliminary drilling, which we consider merit further assessment,” he said.

Thor has assembled a portfolio of exploration assets in West Africa. The company says it is well positioned to achieve two major milestones with the start of gold production at Segilola and the announcement of a maiden resource at the Douta project in Senegal.

Its most advanced project is the 100%-owned Segilola gold project in Osun State, Nigeria. Segilola has a total probable reserve of 517,800 ounces gold grading 4.02 g/t. The project is scheduled to pour its first gold in June, 2021.

A feasibility study completed in February 2019 envisaged an open pit mine and construction of a new 625,000-tpy processing plant. However, further definition drilling, added to an updated reserve statement and processing plant design capacity, has resulted in a larger pit design and an increase in production plant capacity to 715,000 tonnes annually.

Thor’s portfolio includes the Douta Gold Project in eastern Senegal, where the exploration permit covers an area of 103 km2. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary African Star Resources Inc., Thor has acquired 70% of the licence from the permit holder International Mining Co. SARL (IMC).

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