African gold miner Randgold has ended a joint venture agreement in Mali with junior explorer Cradle Arc, Cradle Arc said on Wednesday, adding it would seek a new partner.

Under the agreement begun in February 2016, Randgold held a 65% stake in the Kossanto West Gold Project license, which will revert to Cradle Arc, now the 100% owner.

Cradle Arc CEO Kevin van Wouw said Randgold had been “an excellent JV partner” that added to the company’s understanding of a project he believed contained a significant amount of gold.

Cradle Arc would “actively seek a new partner for the continued exploration and advancement of the licenses,” Wednesday’s statement said.

Mali has attracted a flurry of interest from junior gold explorers and is regarded as a relatively stable jurisdiction compared with some African nations.

Major gold company Randgold has operations in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is in dispute with the government over a new mining code.

It also has a tax dispute with the Mali government.

Randgold, which has a total portfolio of 157 gold mining exploration targets, often forms joint ventures to share cost and risk.

It had no comment on Wednesday’s announcement made by Cradle Arc.





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