Loncor Resources Inc. (TSX: LN) has entered investment and joint venture relationships with two leading gold exploration and mining companies operating throughout Africa.
In June 2018, agreements were concluded with Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) whereby Resolute acquired 27.2% of the outstanding shares of Loncor and is now Loncor’s second largest shareholder.
In January 2016, Loncor entered into a joint venture agreement with Barrick Gold Congo SARL (formerly Randgold Resources Congo SARL) (“Barrick”) (NASDAQ:GOLD). This agreement provides for a joint venture (the "Joint Venture") between Loncor and Barrick covering all of the exploration permit areas comprising Loncor’s Ngayu project, other than certain parcels of land surrounding and including the Makapela and Yindi prospects which are retained by Loncor and do not form part of the Joint Venture. Barrick will have certain preemptive rights over these two areas. Barrick will manage and fund all exploration of the permit areas until the completion of a prefeasibility study on any gold discovery meeting the investment criteria of Barrick. Once the Joint Venture has determined to move ahead with a full feasibility study, a special purpose vehicle ("SPV") would be created to hold the specific discovery areas. Subject to the DRC’s free carried interest requirements, Barrick would retain 65% of the SPV with Loncor holding the balance of 35%. Loncor will be required, from that point forward, to fund its pro-rata share of the SPV in order to maintain its 35% interest or be diluted.
Loncor's Makapela prospect has an Indicated Mineral Resource of 614,200 ounces of gold (2.20 million tonnes grading 8.66 g/t Au) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 549,600 ounces of gold (3.22 million tonnes grading 5.30 g/t Au).
In January 2017, Loncor announced preliminary results of the geophysical airborne survey undertaken by Barrick as part of its Joint Venture with Loncor. A 10,013 line-kilometre helicopter borne electromagnetic ‘VTEM’ survey (the “JV Survey”) was completed over the Ngayu belt. The JV Survey was performed by Geotech Airborne Limited over the span of approximately five months. The JV Survey has provided a valuable additional layer of geological information through mapping the conductivity nature of the belt. The new data has assisted with resolving the lithological nature of the belt as well as assisting in identifying major structures and areas of structural complexity.
In May 2017, Loncor announced that exploration ground work had commenced on priority targets resulting from the JV Survey. Processed data and final products from the JV Survey have been combined with all other geological layers to complete an updated integrated geological map of the belt and to refine and prioritize areas of interest (“AOIs”). Four preliminary AOIs were generated using pre-existing data sets and the VTEM data. The four preliminary AOIs have several kilometer-long mineralised strike potential focused on extension of known mineralized trends as well as areas of geochemical anomalies and structural complexity. The four priority AOIs identified are summarized below:
- Priority 30 kilometre long Imva Fold structure
Extensive geochemical anomalies and several gold occurrences along major structures and complex deformation around intrusions.
20 kilometre long northwest extension of the Yindi/Aguluku mineralised trend with high soil and BLEG geochemical anomalies in the Yindi and Anguluku prospect areas. Younger Lindian cover may be obscuring any geochemical signature further along strike to the northwest. Structural complexity favourable for gold mineralised emplacement where the Banded Ironstone Formations (“BIFs”) wrap around the western side of a regional intrusive complex.
20 kilometre mineralised northwest extension of the Adumbi trend with moderate BLEG anomalism along the entire AOI, in places associated with similar lithological setting as the Adumbi deposit.
8 kilometre structural trend located in an area of complex folding of BIFs and carbonaceous shale, a localized area of high BLEG anomalism associated with a northwest trending fold axis, the setting and geochemical anomalism indicate the potential for fold plunging style mineralization.
The initial work program will have a two-pronged approach: a geological review of all existing targets; and ground follow-up of remotely and conceptually generated AOIs to generate additional new targets.
The belt scale exploration strategy of Barrick is to focus on the discovery of large high quality gold deposits by rapidly identifying and progressing targets that show the potential to meet these filters. Gold mineral resources have already been identified within the Ngayu greenstone belt in the Makapela and Adumbi deposits, and the objective is to further unlock the potential of the Ngayu greenstone belt for a world class discovery using cutting edge geophysics, geochemistry, structural interpretation and driven by an experienced and proven exploration team on the ground.