It’s been seven years since ASX-listed Golden Rim Resources acquired the licence for the Kouri gold project in Burkina Faso.
Initially it was slow goings, however, over the last three years, the company has made significant exploration progress, leading to more investment into the company which has enabled the company to acquire more licences that should enable it to significantly increase its mineral resource.
MD CRAIG MACKAY updated GERARD PETER on the status of the company’s flagship project, located in the east of this emerging gold producing country.
Kouri lies on a major mineralised fault zone that extends to the north-east into western Niger, where the 2.5 Moz Samira Hill gold deposit is located. To the south-west, the fault zone is connected to the Markoye Fault system which controls several large gold deposits in Burkina Faso, including Kiaka (5.9 Moz), Bomboré (5.2 Moz) and Essakane (6.2 Moz).
Mackay is a geologist with more than three decades’ experience. He has been a director of Golden Rim since 2004 and was appointed MD in 2007. He begins by stating that the slow start to operations at Kouri was mainly the result of two reasons.
Firstly, there was uncertainty following a change of government which was dissuading investment in the country. However, he explains, the bigger challenge resulted from the project’s old licence status when Golden Rim acquired it.
“As such, we had to approach the Ministry of Ministry of Mines, Careers and Energy who did issue us with a brand new licence in April 2017,” he adds.
With the necessary documents in hand, the company has been active in advancing the project.
To date, the company has completed almost 60 000 m of RC drilling and 2 000 m of diamond drilling which has resulted in an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 32 Mt at 1.4g/t for 1.4 Moz of contained gold at a cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t gold - to approximately 115 m below surface.
Expansion holds much promise
Mackay explains that the company is now focused on two objectives.
“Our first objective is to increase our maiden resource. We want to ensure at least 2 Moz and believe with our recent acquisition, this is quite achievable.”
In June this year, Golden Rim acquired Lafi Gold, whose Burkina Faso subsidiary owned Margou and Goueli permits, which adjoin Kouri. Through this acquisition, the company has now quadrupled the project area from 58 km2 to 245 km2.
Significantly, the acquisition has also increased the company’s control over the Samira Hill shear zone from 16 km to 40 km.
The second objective, Mackay continues, is to increase the quality of the resource itself.
“Presently, 15% is in the Indicated category while the rest is Inferred. As such, we will do more infill drilling to increase the percentage in the Indicated category.” To that end the company seems to be on the right track."
In August, Golden Rim announced exceptional high-grade gold intercepts at its Diabatou and Maré prospects.
The results are near-surface and include 7 m at 121.2 g/t gold from 41 m including 1m at 783.8 g/t gold; and 4 m at 9.2 g/t gold including 1 m at 22.8g/t gold.
Kouri at the helm
While Golden Rim also has its Babonga gold project in Burkino Fasa and the Paguanta zinc-silver-lead project in Chile, Mackay states that the company’s focus in primarily on developing Kouri.
“Burkina Faso is a country with enormous potential but no real history of exploration. It is has only seen 15 years of modern exploration and around 10 large gold mines in operation.
"There are major Greenstone belts with major shear zones that host gold which for the most part are vastly unexplored.”
Mackay envisages another 12 months of exploration before the company can conduct a pre-feasibility study in 2021, followed by construction around 2022.
He adds that the gold market is improving and activity is starting to look buoyant.
“As such, we have already secured a number of cornerstone investors and are very positive that we will continue to get financial backing for Kouri,” he explains.
He continues that the government is very supportive which has made it much easier to operate by comparison with other countries in the region.
In closing, Mackay states:
“We believe that Kouri has the goods. We have 1.4 Moz but believe we can increase this. There is a lot of potential in those areas where we have acquired new licences. We haven’t finished exploring yet but we see Kouri as the future of the company.”