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Mariana to expand gold exploration into Ivory Coast

Mariana Resources Ltd. is looking to expand into Ivory Coast by acquiring a stake in a gold-focused private miner.

The company entered a binding term sheet to acquire an 80% interest in Awalé Resources SARL, it said Oct. 7.

Awalé has three granted contiguous licenses totaling 1,191 square kilometers in the Bondoukou area, as well as four licenses under application, totaling 1,593 square kilometers in both the Bondoukou and Abengourou areas.

Mariana will issue US$544,274 worth of ordinary shares to Awalé shareholders, loan the company US$55,725 to settle debt and will settle certain of Awalé's outstanding obligations up to US$89,000.

The company will also pay a bonus of 50 cents per ounce of gold for resources of up to 1 million ounces, and US$1.00 per ounce of gold for resources exceeding 1 million ounces along with a catch-up payment of 50 cents per ounce of gold for any resources delineated prior to a resource of more than 1 million ounces being defined. The bonus payment is capped at US$3.5 million.

A definitive agreement is expected to be executed on or before Nov. 15, with closing slated on or before Nov. 30.