Calibre Mining (TSXV: CXB; US-OTC: CXBMF) saw its shares surge 43% after reporting that Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) had signed an option to spend US$10.9 million to earn up to 70% of the junior’s Eastern Borosi gold–silver project in northeast Nicaragua.
Iamgold can earn an initial 51% interest in the 176 sq. km property by paying Calibre US$450,000 and spending US$5 million in exploration over three years, with a minimum US$1.5 million in the first year.
The senior gold producer could boost its stake to 70% by paying another US$450,000 and investing an extra US$5 million in exploration over three years. That would bring the total investment to just shy of US$11 million.
Calibre is “tremendously excited” to partner up with Iamgold to test Eastern Borosi’s productivity within the Borosi concessions, spanning 785 sq. km, the company’s CEO Grey Smith said in a statement.
The initial US$1.5-million exploration program this year at Eastern Borosi should start shortly and test some of the high-priority targets that Calibre has already identified. These include the Riscos de Oro and La Luna deposits; the high-grade Guapinol and Blag gold systems; and the La Sorpresa and El Paraiso gold targets.
The program will test the new high-grade vein targets and expand the current gold–silver resource, Smith said.
Eastern Borosi hosts an inferred resource of 350,000 oz. gold and 5.3 million oz. silver in the La Luna and Riscos de Oro deposits.
Iamgold joins B2Gold (TSX: BTO; NYSE-MKT: BTG) and Alder Resources (TSXV: ALR) as Calibre’s partners in advancing the company’s large Borosi concessions.
Vancouver-based B2Gold, — Nicaragua’s biggest gold producer with its La Libertad and Limon mines — could increase its 51% interest in Calibre’s Primavera gold–copper project and surrounding Borosi concessions (including the Minnesota gold project) to 70% by allocating $6 million on exploration over three years.
Past drilling at Primavera has cut porphyry style mineralization, including 262 metres grading 0.78 gram gold per tonne and 0.3% copper, while recent trenching at Minnesota returned 14.8 metres grading 1.85 grams gold and 8.5 metres of 1.22 grams gold.
B2Gold intends to spend US$1.2 million on its 2014 exploration efforts at Primavera and Minnesota.
Calibre’s other partner, Alder, has an option to earn a 65% stake in the Rosita gold–copper–silver project in the Borosi concessions by putting down $4 million on exploration and providing Calibre 1 million Alder shares by 2015. The 33.6 sq. km Rosita project hosts the past-producing Santa Rita gold–copper–silver mine.
Alder, a cash-strapped junior, notes it has temporarily curbed exploration activities at Rosita.
It adds that when funding becomes available, it will finish metallurgical tests on Rosita’s stockpiles and tailings resource targets, and conduct a drill program to test for surface targets, among other things.
The three partners should invest a combined US$12 million on the company’s gold–silver–copper projects over the next three years, Smith said.
On the Iamgold partnership, announced May 27, Calibre shares jumped 1.5¢ to 5¢. It closed the next day at 4.5¢.
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