Montage Gold gains on Lundin-backed financing

Montage Gold’s Koné project in Côte d’Ivoire. Credit: Montage Gold

Montage Gold (TSXV: MAU) this week hired a new CEO and doubled a Lundin Group-backed stock offering to fund the $712 million Koné gold project in Côte d’Ivoire.

Toronto-based Montage is increasing the fundraising to C$35 million from C$20 million, the company said on Friday. The offering of 50 million shares at C$0.70 each closes the week of Mar. 11. Montage stocks rose 12% to C$0.75 apiece in Friday afternoon trading in Toronto, capitalizing the company at C$139 million.

The Lundin Group, which includes Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN), Lundin Gold (TSX: LUG) and Lucara Diamond (TSX: LUC) among others, was planning to invest C$17.8 million for a 19.9% stake, Montage said. The amounts may change with the revised offering.

Montage appointed former Endeavour Mining (TSX: EDV; LSE: EDV) deputy chief financial officer Martino De Ciccio as CEO to replace co-founder Richard Clark, who will remain as a director.

“I am very excited to join Montage with the goal of creating a leading multi-asset African gold producer,” De Ciccio said in a release. “I am thrilled to begin this new endeavour with the strong support of the Lundin Group.”

The Koné gold project represents the largest and most advanced standalone gold project in West Africa and is advancing towards an expected construction decision this year, the company says. The project has a $1.1 billion after-tax net present value at a 5% discount rate and a 39% internal rate of return at a $2,050 per oz. gold price, according to an updated feasibility study last month.

Approval imminent

Montage submitted an environmental and social impact assessment for Koné, located in the West African country’s northwest, in December followed by a public hearing. Approval and a mining permit may be followed by construction starting in this year’s second half, the company said.

Koné, which holds 174.3 million probable tonnes grading 0.72 gram gold per tonne for 4 million oz. contained gold. It has six exploration areas with permits covering a total of 1,801 sq. km focused around the Koné desposit.

The property sits in the same shear zone hosting Fortuna Silver Mines‘s (TSX: FVI; NYSE: FSM) Seguela gold mine 80 km south, and Barrick Gold‘s (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) Fonondara, Cassere and Caribou advanced-stage targets to the north.

Koné would produce 223,000 oz. annually at all-in sustaining costs of $998 per oz. over 16 years. The project with its higher-grade satellite deposits within trucking distance have the potential to form the nexus of a new gold district with processing at a central mill, Montage said.

The first satellite to be developed may be the Gbongogo Main deposit within the former Mankono-Sissédougou joint venture that Montage acquired from Barrick and Endeavour in 2022.

Exploration is underway to define new satellite deposits. A key area is the Diouma-Gbongogo-Korotou shear zone, which is a 15-km strike length of soil anomalies where nine targets have been drill tested to some degree. The Gbongogo Main pit is located at the south end of this zone.