Helio Resource Corporation is undertaking a drilling programme this year at its SMP project in Tanzania’s Lupa Goldfields. SMP includes the New Saza gold mine, which was the second largest gold producer, behind the Geita mine, in pre-independence era Tanzania.
Through its 100% owned subsidiary Bafex Tanzania, Helio can earn a 100% interest in five contiguous licences, which cover a 35 kilometre strike length of the Saza shear zone in the Lupa goldfields.
Since June 2006, Helio has drill-tested eleven targets there, nine of which are hosted along the Saza shear zone. All eleven targets intersected bedrock-hosted gold mineralisation, and the company has diamond drill tested three widely-spaced targets, Porcupine, Kenge and Konokono, along 13 kilometres of the structure. In addition, Helio has tested eight other targets with reconnaissance reverse circulation (RC) drilling.
Geological, geochemical, and geophysical information indicates that the Porcupine target has an east-west strike length of at least 1,000 metres. The Kenge target comprises five zones of outcropping mineralisation, which together have an aggregate strike length of over 2,000 metres.
Helio’s 2009 diamond drilling programme recently commenced at the Porcupine target, and will initially focus on infill drilling areas of existing diamond drilling, and is designed to test the plunge direction of higher grade zones identified during last year’s drill programme.
Additionally, a 5,000 metre RC drilling programme at the Porcupine target will test the potential for wide zones of gold mineralisation along strike to the east of the Porcupine target towards the Gap target. Geochemical and geophysical anomalies, sporadic outcrop and intermittent smallscale artisanal workings between Porcupine and Gap suggest that gold mineralisation continues between the two targets, over a strike length in excess of three kilometres. This mineralised corridor then appears to extend a further two kilometres east of Gap to the Reefski target. Drilling by Helio has intersected bedrock gold mineralisation at all three targets.
Helio has also undertaken initial heap-leach amenability test work at the SMP gold project. Previous metallurgical test work on mineralised material from the Kenge target indicated that gold recoveries of up to 96% were achievable by conventional processes.
Following those encouraging results, further test work was undertaken to assess the likely response of the mineralisation to heap leaching. Test work undertaken by SGS in Ontario indicates that gold recoveries of about 70% are possible, coupled with low reagent consumptions.