What does Resolute Mining’s (ASX:RSG) big $400m acquisition of private miner Toro Gold mean for Toro exploration partner Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI)? Only good things, it seems.

Like many of the majors, the 400,000ozpa Resolute is keen to add low-cost ounces to its production profile though exploration.

But it doesn’t have time for the small stuff; only big deposits will make the grade.

The 3000sqkm Predictive/Resolute JV in Cote D’Ivoire includes two advanced projects, Ferkessedougou North and Boundiali.

Both these projects have enjoyed recent exploration success.

Highlights include 45.3m at 3.16 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from Ferkessedougou North and 27m at 2.42g/t from Boundiali — with new zones of gold mineralisation discovered across both projects.  Predictive believes these could be significant gold deposits.

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Going forward, Predictive will benefit from the fact that Resolute is an experienced gold finder and mine builder.

Resolute’s established, highly efficient exploration operation in Cote D’Ivoire should “substantially lower overhead costs”, the explorer says.

A $2m-$3m exploration budget for 2020 will be presented to the Resolute board in November, says Predictive, which plans to maintain a ~25 per cent equity in the JV.

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A fresh field work program will also kick off in early November, aimed at discovering more gold at Ferkessedougou North.

Diamond drilling will target extensions to the recently discovered Ouarigue South Prospect (45.3m at 3.16g/t gold from 45.9m), as well as geological mapping and soil sample analysis.

Predictive anticipates that more drill programs aimed at finding more Ouarigue South-type deposits will kick off in early 2020.

“Our new JV partners have strengthened the outlook for the projects bringing a fresh approach to exploration, supporting their objective of adding gold ounces to the Resolute portfolio,” Predictive managing director Paul Roberts says.

“We eagerly await the commencement of diamond drilling at Ferkesssedougou North and look forward to jointly advancing the Ferkessedougou North and Boundiali projects towards what we believe may be significant gold deposits.”