Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) Eyes Loncor Resources Inc. (TSE:LN) (OTCQX:LONCF) As Russia Lender Ramps Gold Purchases

Gold companies are racing against time to take advantage of the record high gold prices. Exploration and mining activities have edged higher in recent months as companies look to bolster their bottom lines while taking advantage of the high gold prices.

Loncor Resource Gold Prospects

Canadian Junior gold miner Loncor Resources Inc. (TSE:LN) (OTCQX:LONCF) is one of the companies ramping up operations backed by highly prospective gold projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its flagship project Ibo in the DRC consists of numerous targets on the Nganyu Belt, 220 kilometers southwest of the Kibali gold mine.

The flagship project contains three resource-bearing gold deposits of nearly 30.7 million tons grading at 2.6 grams per ton gold with over 2.5 million ounces of the yellow metal. It thus does not come as a surprise that Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) has already taken a strong interest in Loncor Resources, given the proximity of their highly prospective gold mines.

The two already have a strategic partnership that entitles the mining major a 65% stake in any discovery within a group of 12 exploration permits. Under the terms of the partnership, Barrick Gold manages and funds exploration activities in the permit areas until completion of feasibility studies.

Metalla Royalty Purchase

As Barrick Gold takes a keen interest in Loncor Resources, Metalla Royalty has entered into a purchase agreement for two privately owned Utah corporations Genesis Gold Corporation and Geological Services. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Metalla is to acquire 100% of the two companies at an aggregate $4.125 million in cash and commission shares.

The acquisition will accord the company access to eleven royalties covering more than 21,500 hectares of Carlin-type and epithermal deposits. They should also expand its portfolio to sixty-two royalties and streams upon closing.

Russia Bank Gold Buying Spree

Separately, Russia’s second-biggest lender, VTB Bank PJSC, is betting on gold and other precious metals. The bank has prioritized physical gold trading as it looks to boost its profits as investors flock safe-havens amid the pandemic and uncertainties in the global economy.

VTB Capital became Russia’s biggest bullion buyer after the country’s central bank stopped purchasing the metal earlier in the years. As of October, the lender held 59.5 tonnes ounces of gold.

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