Auplata (Alternext - FR0010397760 - ALAUP), France's leading gold producer, and Newmont LaSource SAS, a 100% subsidiary of the Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE - US6516391066 - NEM), one of the leading producers of gold in the world, have announced the signing of an agreement governing the mining titles (Exclusive Prospecting Licenses) for the Bon Espoir and Iracoubo Sud gold mines owned by Auplata in French Guiana.
The Exclusive Prospecting License for Bon Espoir covers an area of approximately 122 km² across the Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and Mana communes in North West French Guiana, 170 km west of Cayenne. Exploration work in the area between 1996 and 2005 led to the discovery of the Wayamaga gold prospect along a single geological structure which is still to be developed, and confirmed the presence of large-scale gold-in-soil anomalies to be tested.
The Exclusive Prospecting License for Iracoubo-Sud, covers an area of 300 km² across the Mana, Iracoubo and Saint-Elie communes in North West French Guiana, 120 km west of Cayenne. In geological continuity from the license for Bon Espoir, it has the same exploration prospects.
US$12 million in possible exploration costs for Newmont
The joint-venture agreement signed between Auplata and Newmont governing the licenses for Bon Espoir and Iracoubo Sud provides for two exploration phases that may incur up to US$12 million in exploration costs for Newmont, thereby entitling it to a stake in the venture of up to 75%, with Auplata retaining the remaining 25%.
On completion of the two exploration phases, Auplata will be able, depending on its contribution to future exploration programmes, to maintain its stake in the joint venture, reduce its stake or convert its stake in exchange for royalty payments on future exploration work.
Furthermore, until the second phase is reached, Auplata will still be able to request other permits within the scope of the joint venture, enabling it to retain its growth potential and business model for the region.
The agreement between Auplata and Newmont remains subject to various suspensive conditions, and notably to the approval of the Ministry in charge of Mining.
For Auplata Chairman, Jean-François Fourt:
"This major strategic agreement with Newmont, the world's 2nd largest producer of gold, is an indication of the strong attraction of French Guiana for global mining groups and, more importantly, the wealth of the portfolio of mining titles owned by Auplata which is the largest in Guiana. After the agreement with Nordgold for the Paul Isnard project, it is another decisive structural success for Auplata that is the fruit of several months of negotiations with our new mining partner. Auplata will continue to forge new agreements with other major mining sector players in order to continue nurturing the formidable potential of our mining portfolio and create new value for our shareholders."
Auplata is the first gold producer in French Guiana. In total, Auplata has mining permits and licenses covering over 700 sq km.
Auplata follows an innovative business and financial strategy, aimed at developing and exploiting French Guiana's gold resources through close collaboration with local players. The company's aim is to offer a sustainable alternative for the French Guiana gold-mining industry.
Since June 2011, Auplata is also the largest shareholder of Columbus Gold Corporation, a Canadian gold exploration company listed on Toronto Stock Exchange (Canada).
Auplata is listed on Alternext Paris by Euronext. Auplata's share capital is made up of 30,371,811 shares. ISIN : FR0010397760 - ALAUP ; ICB : 1777 - Gold Mining.
More informations about Auplata : www.auplata.fr.
Mathieu Omnes Investor relations + 33 (0)1 72 74 81 87
Nicolas Bouchez Press relations + 33 (0)1 77 35 04 37
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