HomeFeatures & AnalysisExplorer discovers multiple gold workings on its Liberia licence

Explorer discovers multiple gold workings on its Liberia licence

Liberia – Initial reconnaissance at Altus Strategies’ 466 km2 Zolowo gold project licence has identified over 50 alluvial gold mining sites – the largest mining site mapped to date is approximately 250 m long and 50 m wide.

The Zolowo licence hosts a 33 km long Archaean greenstone belt which the company believes is the likely gold source.

Based on the finding, a follow up systematic stream sediment programme will now be undertaken on site.

Reconnaissance exploration programme

Zolowo was selected after comprehensive in-house analysis of available datasets including geological maps, historic mineral occurrences and satellite imagery. An initial reconnaissance exploration programme has now been completed at Zolowo. The objective of the programme was to verify a number of potential artisanal mining sites, as interpreted from the remote sensing programme.

The prospecting work has confirmed the presence of numerous artisanal alluvial gold mining sites. Over 50 separate workings have now been visited by Altus to date, clustered within the central part of the licence. Of these, 35 were found to be active and the largest extended for approximately 250 m.

At each working up to 25 artisanal miners were found to be selectively mining gold bearing gravels, often at the boundary between saprolite and bedrock. It was reported that gold has been mined in this way from the Zolowo area since the 1930’s. As part of the reconnaissance programme a number of hard rock samples have been collected for assaying.

“We are very encouraged by the significant number and scale of the artisanal alluvial gold mining operations discovered at Zolowo. It seems likely that the primary source for the gold is associated with the Archaean age greenstone belt that transects the licence for approximately 33 km,” says Altus Strategies CEO Steven Poulton, adding that the belt sits on the same regional geological trend as the New Liberty gold mine owned and operated by Avesoro Resources. New Liberty has a measured and indicated mineral resource of 9.6 Mt containing 985 000 oz of gold grading 3.2 g/t and an inferred mineral resource of 6.4 Mt containing 620 000 oz of gold grading 3.0 g/t, as reported by Avesoro.

The Archaean greenstones of western Liberia are still relatively unexplored. This is despite their geological setting being analogous to many famous gold mines and camps such as at Kerr-Addison in Ontario, the Golden Mile in Kalgoorlie and Homestake in the United States.

Zolowo licence at a glance

The 466km2 Zolowo exploration licence is located in Lofa County, north-western Liberia and approximately 190km northeast of the capital, Monrovia. The original licence application submitted by the company was for an area of 732km2.

Hosting the regional town of Zorzor, the licence contains a main road which links the towns of Gbarnga (60 km to the south) and Voinjama (70 km to the north), the latter of which has a domestic airport.

Zolowo contains numerous alluvial gold mining camps and an Archaean greenstone belt that forms a prominent ridge for approximately 33 km across the licence.

Feature image credit: Altus Strategies

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Chantelle Kotze
Chantelle Kotze is a Johannesburg-based media professional. She is a contributor at Mining Review Africa (Clarion Events - Africa) and has created content for the media brand over the past 6 years.