Amani Gold DRC
Sampling of shallow artisanal mining pits at Gada

With a global gold resource of just over 3 Moz of gold Amani Gold aims to grow its resource base within the Kilo-Moto Belt of north eastern DRC even further.

The company’s recent acquisition of the Gada gold asset, just 100 km to the west of its Giro gold project, together with its extensive exploration campaign at Giro in 2019 underpins its strategy to collate a resource of 10 Moz, executive director KLAUS ECKHOF tells CHANTELLE KOTZE.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 8, 2019
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Following the signing of a subscription agreement with Chinese investment consortium Luck Winner Investment in July 2017 for an initial US$15 million investment to support the company’s exploration activity, Luck Winner Investment later terminated the agreement in December 2017.

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This followed a struggle to raise additional capital in country while facing other operational hurdles in north eastern DRC.

The outcome of this was an 18-month period where very little exploration work was done on site at Giro except a low level feasibility study as well as the evaluation of alluvial gold production scenarios.

Impacted by the lack of exploration and development progress, it was in late 2018 that Amani Gold approached former chairman Eckhof – an exploration geologist by trade with over 25 years of experience developing mineral deposits – to take on the role of executive director.

This was done to help raise the necessary funds to resuscitate exploration at Giro with the aim of increasing the project’s overall resource base.

Getting everything back on track at Giro from its idle state will see Amani Gold undertake additional drilling on both the Kebigada (2.14 Moz of indicated and inferred mineral resource grading at 1.46 g/t of gold) and the Douze Match (320 000 oz of indicated and inferred mineral resource grading at 1.2 g/t of gold) deposits as a means to increase the resource base from the initial maiden mineral resource estimates defined in July 2017 and December 2018, respectively.

This year Amani Gold’s exploration strategy has been to principally test for deeper high-grade mineralisation at Kebigada, complete infill drilling at Kebigada and reconnaissance drilling, using a combination of RC and diamond core drilling north of Douze Match where the company had previously made a new gold discovery at the Kolongoba prospect.

The exploration programme at Giro, which consists of about 5 000 m worth drilling began in June.

“If the drilling programme at Giro proves successful we will be more aggressive in our drilling going forward and complete an additional 10 000 m to 15 000 m.

"However, if our targets don’t prove prospective we will focus our attention on our recently acquired Gada project, where the company has concluded a successful due diligence,” Eckhof explains.

Gearing up for work at Gada

The Gada gold project, which was acquired in May 2019 from Bon Génie N. Mining, or BN Mining, comprises ten highly prospective gold exploration permits within the Haut Uele Province in north-east DRC – about 100 km to the west of Giro.

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Given the location, geology and scale of the tenement package, Eckhof says it is clear that the package is highly prospective for large gold mineralisation.

“Our knowledge and ability to explore and discover gold in this part of the DRC means that Gada is a great addition and comfortable fit within our portfolio.

“Early stage scouting carried out across the project as well as rock chip sampling of known gold occurrences, pits and outcrops, as well as mapping will soon confirm what we already believe exists,” says Eckhof.

Although the grades at Gada look good so far, Eckhof admits that the project is still very early stage with Amani Gold being the first company to undertake any drilling on site.

There are areas of historic Belgian workings, where the Belgians mined high-grade gold in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as areas of artisanal gold workings that stretch across the tenement package where miners have mined quartz veins and associated structures from shallow pits about 10 m deep.

Having successfully completed a due diligence investigation, a 1 500 m exploration drilling programme will begin in August.

Using conventional diamond core and/or reverse circulation drilling, Amani will adequately be able to determine depth extensions and widths of mineralised veins and structures within fresh rock.

The company will also conduct a modern exploratory study to determine potential target areas for systematic exploration work.

Growth plan towards unlocking 10 Moz

In order to advance its strategy of achieving a gold resource of 10 Moz, Amani Gold, in addition to the Giro and Gada projects, will continue to evaluate new project acquisitions with the potential to expand its gold footprint in the Kilo-Moto Belt – a significant under-explored Greenstone belt.

“We need to delineate a resource of at least 5 Moz to 10 Moz in order to develop a viable standalone project in the region,” he explains.

Amani’s strategy therefore entails the creation of a larger company through the acquisition of smaller exploration projects with the aim of establishing a large enough mineral resource base in north eastern DRC.