Mariana Resources Limited has exercised its option to acquire the 30% interest held by IAMGOLD Corporation in the Santa Cruz Joint Venture, to take Mariana's interest from 70% to 100%, subject to an IAMGOLD royalty of 1.5% of net smelter returns.
To exercise the option Mariana is to pay US$500,000 and issue shares to the value of US$500,000 to IAMGOLD. The number of shares to be issued is based on the 15 days volume weighted average price of Mariana shares on AIM, in this instance 9.41 pence per share. Settlement will occur in two equal tranches, the first immediately and the second on 18 February 2012. Consequently Mariana will issue 1,687,345 fully paid ordinary shares to IAMGOLD under the first tranche when documentation is completed.
Under the AngloGold Ashanti Ltd strategic investment agreement, announced on the 17th November 2011, AngloGold has the right to maintain its percentage interest in Mariana at 19.862%. As a consequence of AngloGold electing to maintain this percentage interest, Mariana will issue 418,212 fully paid ordinary shares to AngloGold under the first tranche at 9.41 pence per share upon completion of the strategic investment.
Mariana will therefore issue 2,105,570 fully paid ordinary shares under the first tranche. Under TSX rules the shares will be subject to a four months hold period. The issues will take the Company's issued capital to 183,665,487 ordinary shares.
Santa Cruz Joint Venture Background
Mariana earned a 70% interest in the Joint Venture by spending US$2,000,000 on exploration of Sierra Blanca and Cañadon Largo projects. Subsequently Mariana negotiated an option to acquire IAMGOLD's 30% interest by paying US$500,000 cash and issuing Mariana shares to the value US$500,000. In recent times the Company's exploration has centred on the Sierra Blanca silver-gold project.
In early 2011, diamond drilling along the 1.1km Chala-Achen vein system discovered wide intervals of gold-silver mineralisation with high grade zones at Chala Central and Achen. Best Achen intersection was 20.3m @ 1.5 g/t gold ('Au') and 34 g/t silver ('Ag') (2.0 g/t AuEq**) from 121.7m including 2.65m @ 6.8 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag from 135.6m in Hole CHD71. Best Chala Central intersection was 30.1m @ 2.2 g/t Au and 101 g/t Ag (3.9 g/t AuEq) from 23.0m, including 2.1m @ 15.9 g/t Au and 38 g/t Ag(16.5 g/t Au Eq) from 41m in CHD84. (**Gold equivalent grade is calculated by dividing silver assays by 60 and adding to the gold value and this assumes 100% metallurgical recovery.)
Induced Polarisation geophysics, detailed mapping and sampling at Chala-Achen and other key targets resulted in5,000m of recently completed follow up drilling. The campaign included Achen-Chala, Lucila, Trafwe (the one kilometre long gravel covered zone between Lucila and Achen), and Veterron target zones with assay results awaited.
The 7,000 Ha Sierra Blanca project is located 70km NW of Cerro Vanguardia along the Tranquilo regional fault system and is adjacent to Argentex Mining's Pinguino epithermal gold-silver/polymetallic discovery. Mariana discovered intermediate sulphidation epithermal gold-silver mineralisation at Veta Chala in 2008. Drilling was limited to 17 reverse circulation and six diamond holes totalling 1,750m targeting veins and breccias exposed in trenches from which numerous bonanza and high grade assays were obtained in channel sampling.