ASX-listed Aura Energy has signed a farm-in / joint venture agreement to extend its already significant position in the Tasiast Archean Greenstone Belt.
The agreement has been executed with Nomads Mining Company of Mauritania and allows Aura to earn a 70% interest in Nomads 100% owned exploration permit.
The exploration permit of 160 km2 covers 50 km2 of Archean greenstones in the Tasiast greenstone belt.
The exploration permit lies approximately 35 km along strike from Kinross’ giant +20 Moz Tasiast Gold Mine and 30 km from Algold's Tijirit gold deposits which occur in the adjoining greenstone belt.
Algold have reported a resource of +1 million ounces of gold at Tijirit.
The Nomads permit adjoins and is along strike from Aura’s Taet exploration permit which covers +30 km strike length of the Tasiast greenstones.
Peter Reeve, Aura Energy's Executive Chairman says:
“We are delighted with this strategic addition to our project area in the Tasiast gold district. It is unusual today to be able to obtain access to virtually unexplored greenstone belts in established gold bearing provinces such as this.
“Aura Energy is excited at the potential given the 20 Moz Tasiast Gold deposit is the only known significant gold resource in a field where little exploration has been conducted and in a geological setting where gold deposits tend to occur in clusters elsewhere in the word.”
“Aura Energy will maintain its core focus in Mauritania of getting the Tiris Uranium Project DFS completed and the project into production as soon as possible.
“However, given our extensive knowledge of Mauritania and our planned activities in adjoining areas, this presents another high-quality opportunity in a country Aura Energy knows well.
“It is an excellent opportunity, in our opinion, to add significant shareholder value for Aura Energy”, Reeve continues.
Aura is not aware of any significant prior exploration on the permit area despite the area being previously held by Normandy La Source during the 1990s.
The area of the Nomads permit, which is close to the large Tasiast mine, has not been exposed to modern exploration techniques.
Initial field geological work indicates the greenstone sequences within the Nomads permit and within Aura’s nearby tenement holdings have strong similarities in age (late Archean) and geology with those of the prolifically mineralised greenstone belts in the Yilgarn Province of Western Australia and the Superior Province in Canada.
In the Mauritanian Archean greenstone belts, there is currently only one operating mine operated by Kinross at Tasiast, and one other reported gold resource at Tijirit held by Algold.
Aura is of the belief that the reason for the difference in apparent gold mineralisation intensity in Mauritania relative to other late Archean greenstone belts is very likely due to the lack of exploration over much of Mauritania.
On Aura’s Taet permit adjoining the Nomads permit to the south, anomalous values of nickel and cobalt have been reported.
Nickel and cobalt mineralisation are also common in similar rocks in other Archean greenstones such as the Yilgarn Province in Australia and the Superior Province in Canada, and on this basis, it is Aura’s belief that potential for similar occurrences in the Nomads permit area is good.
Aura also believes that these lightly explored greenstone belts in Mauritania, with only one producing gold mine, represent some of the best under-explored greenstone belt targets in the world.
On the Nomads permit area Aura is planning a program of:
- Airborne geophysics to define geology and structure
- Bedrock geochemistry based on RAB or aircore drilling
- Possibly ground geophysics (induced polarisation) in selected areas of interest arising from these programs − RC and diamond drill testing of targets arising