DRC – Armadale Capital, the AIM quoted investment company focused on natural resources projects in Africa, has announced the positive conclusion of a geological review undertaken by CSA Global for its Mpokoto gold project in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mpokoto is located in the western part of the Katanga Province approximately 250 km west of Kolwezi in the DRC, approximately 25 km from the Zambian border.
- An exploration target of between 2.4 Mt to 3.0Mt at a grade of 1.25 to 1.5g/t gold for an additional 120 000 to 150 000 ounces of gold has been identified;
- The newly identified exploration target areas are along-strike and down dip from known mineralisation to be drill tested in May 2015;
- Extensions of high grade mineralisation in sheared altered mafic rocks intersected in drill hole MPDD0064 which intercepted 27.9 m @ 7.8 g/t are highlighted in addition to laterally continuous zones of mineralisation;
- Potential for material enhancements to current pit models and economic fundamentals of the project which has a current total mineral resource of 678 000 oz gold from 14.58 Mt @ 1.45g/t at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t and demonstrated a post-tax net present value of US$55.3 million;
- Defined development strategy to rapidly advance the project through to low capex, low opex gold production in H1, 2016.
Peter Marks, Chairman of Armadale Capital, says, “The scope and scale of the Mpokoto gold project continues to develop in line with our expectations of being able to deliver a low capex, low opex commercial gold mining project in the near future. The results of this geological review have provided the Company with a greater degree of confidence in planning the next drilling programme and targeting further mineralisation.”
Mpokoto Gold Project
The company last year announced the results of an expanded scoping study for Mpokoto which demonstrated a post-tax net present value of $55.3 million based upon a discount rate of 8% and a gold price of US$1 250/oz. The project comprises four mining licences which are valid for an initial term of 30 years from 30 September 2014.
The company is currently finalising a definitive feasibility study on the project which advances the work already undertaken as part of the expanded scoping study. In parallel with this study the company is in active discussions with potential funding partners to secure the $20 million of capital required to commence construction of the Mpokoto project. The company anticipates that this funding will be secured at the project level.
The proposed drilling programme will have several objectives including targeting primary mineralisation and down dip mineralisation beyond the present pit limits. Further drilling will target near-surface “along strike mineralisation” which has the potential to substantially increase current pits to the north-west.
Geological Review Completed
At Armadale’s request, CSA Global undertook a technical review of the Mpokoto geology data. For this purpose CSA re-logged multiple diamond core holes from locations throughout the project area. Particular attention was paid during logging to recording regolith development, sedimentary rock facies and texture, stratigraphic relationships, and style/intensity of deformation and alteration associated with mineralisation.
The review confirmed regolith logging (which is an important input parameter in the expanded scoping study) conducted by the company and generated important new insights into the primary geological setting at Mpokoto, which differs (in part) to past geological interpretations.
Additional Metallurgical Testwork
As announced on 9 March 2015, Armadale has received the results of a metallurgical test work programme which was completed earlier this year on further samples from Mpokoto arising from the drilling programme completed last year.
The testwork confirmed recoveries of 84 – 92% from the undersize material arising from a trommel screen, which is the primary product of the stage one gold plant. This work clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the company’s proposed low cost modular process design and will allow the project’s metallurgists to design additions, being crushing and milling circuits, to the initial oxide plant to enable the treatment of the oversize oxide material from the trommel screen, as well as the transition and fresh rock.
Armadale intends to commission a 2 500 m reverse circulation drilling programme at the Mpokoto gold project. Whilst it had been hoped that it would be possible to undertake this programme during the wet season this proved unfeasible and it is intended the programme will commence in May as the wet season comes to an end.
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