Columbus Gold Corp. has entered into an agreement with IAMGOLD Corp. to acquire up to a 70% interest in the Maripa gold project, located in French Guiana, South America. Maripa is comprised of up to five contiguous exploration permits that cover an area of approximately 120 square kilometers.

“With mine permitting well under way at the Montagne d’Or gold deposit, the timing was right for this deal on Maripa,” said Robert Giustra, chairman of Columbus Gold. “This low-cost, high-potential acquisition solidifies Columbus Gold’s position as the leading gold exploration and development company in French Guiana.

Gold has been mined in the area for more than a century. The past producing Changement mine, located within the Maripa project area, recorded gold production of some 40,000 ounces from 1985 to 1996.

Past drilling by previous operators between 2002 and 2006 returned the following near-surface drill intercepts 36 meters of 4.3 grams/metric ton (g/mt) gold; 10.5 meters of 12.4 g/mt gold; 34.5 meters of 1.8 g/mt gold; 25.5 meters of 2.5 g/mt gold; 21.5 meters of 2.2 g/mt gold

Columbus Gold said Maripa has the potential to host a significant gold deposit, and is located in an area of excellent access with national highway RN2 running through most of the project.