Azumah Resources expecxts to deliver strong results driven news flow during 2018. The next two years are fully funded and managed by earn-in partner, IbaeraLtd, with multiple high impact exploration campaigns underway at the Wa project in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The budget includes:
- 20,000m of RC and diamond drilling
- ~7,000m of aircore drilling
- ~20,000m of auger drilling
- Ground geophysical and geochemical surveys
- Mine and processing optimisation
- Key objectives are Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve increases and repositioning of project for development.
“With Ibaera having commenced the sole funding of the Wa project for the next two years, Azumah’s investors can look forward to a strong results driven news flow in 2018 with the focus being on rapidly boosting Minerals Resources and Ore Reserves and repositioning the project for funding and development” said recently appointed Project Manager and Ibaera executive, Peter Hairsine.
“There is an enormous opportunity to add considerable value to what is already a very solidly positioned project, a view supported by Ibaera’s highly regarded Partner – Global Targeting and Research, Dr Jon Hronsky, who sees an exciting opportunity for discoveries and extensions to existing deposits”.
The first phase drilling program is aimed at increasing Mineral Resources in close proximity to the flagship Kunche, Bepkong and Julie deposits while also providing sufficient definition to deliver a maiden Mineral Resource for deposits occurring along the emerging Josephine-Manwe trend.
Additional RC drilling will follow-up the many high-grade intercepts obtained by Azumah at a multitude of other targets including Julie West, Julie East, Danyawu and Alpha-Bravo-Charlie.
Concurrent target generation work is aimed at upgrading several targets to drill-ready status and will include ground geophysics, soil geochemical surveys, auger and aircore drilling. It is expected that many of these earlier-stage targets will be drill tested during the subsequent RC drilling phase.
On the project development front, early work will be focused on options analysis, open pit mine optimisation, processing optimisation and initial scoping level studies on the possibility of underground mining at both the Julie and Kunche deposits where there are clearly zones of robust mineralisation directly underlying the currently proposed pit bottoms.
Three main deposits have been discovered and extensively drilled at Kunche and Bepkong, adjacent to the Black Volta River and Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso, and at Julie ~80 km to the east. Several satellite deposits, including Aduane and Collette, have also been delineated.
To date, the company has delineated a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 2.1 Moz of gold grading 1.5g/t Au, including 1.4 Moz Measured and Indicated grading 1.7g/t Au, with these evenly distributed between Kunche-Bepkong and Wa East (Julie deposit). Within this a JORC 2012 Ore Reserve of 624,000oz Au (9.1Mt at 2.14g/t Au) has been defined.
Extensive metallurgical test work has been undertaken to confirm a high average overall gold recovery of ~92% for the combined Kunche, Bepkong and Julie deposits.
Mineral Resources have been progressively grown through a focused, systematic approach to exploration of the company’s 2,400 km2 licence holdings, which encompass large tracts of prospective Birimian terrain, the rocks that host the majority of West Africa’s gold mines. Much of this is covered in soil, alluvium or laterite so most discoveries have been ‘blind’. Azumah anticipates Mineral Resources will grow substantially as it continues to test its large pipeline of target areas and specific prospects.
Azumah’s exploration strategy has been driven by its need to boost Mineral Resources to increase the existing Ore Reserve base from 624,000 oz towards 1 Moz. This would more solidly underpin a development decision and improve funding capability.
Azumah has two 15-year Mining Leases over its key deposits (Ghana government holds a 10% free carried interest in their ‘rights and obligations’ and is also entitled to a 5% gross gold royalty).
No technical, social or environmental impediments to development have been identified, no communities need to be relocated and rehoused and there is strong project support from key stakeholders. The project benefits from excellent regional infrastructure including grid power to site, good quality bituminised and non-bituminised roads, easy access to water, a 2km sealed airstrip at the regional centre of Wa and good general communications.