ASX-listed Azumah Resources' multiple, high-impact exploration and drilling campaigns have commenced at its Wa gold project in Ghana.

A work plan comprising ~20 000 m of reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling, ~7 000 m of aircore drilling, ~20 000 m of auger drilling, ground geophysical and geochemical surveys along with mine and processing optimisation studies is being fully funded by earn-in partner, Ibaera Capital Fund LP (Ibaera) under a transformative deal struck late in 2017.

Ibaera’s team of accomplished geologists and engineers have designed a highly focused, systematic programme of exploration and development work designed to boost the existing mineral resource and ore reserve base of the project.

The first phase drilling programme is aimed at increasing mineral resources in close proximity to the flagship Kunche, Bepkong and Julie deposits while also providing sufficient definition to deliver a maiden mineral resource for deposits occurring along the emerging Josephine-Manwe trend.

Additional RC drilling will follow-up the many high-grade intercepts obtained by Azumah Resources at a multitude of other targets including Julie West, Julie East, Danyawu and Alpha-Bravo-Charlie.

Concurrent target generation work is aimed at upgrading several targets to drill-ready status and will include ground geophysics, soil geochemical surveys, auger and aircore drilling.

It is expected that many of these earlier-stage targets will be drill tested during the subsequent RC drilling phase.

On the project development front, early work will be focused on options analysis, open pit mine optimisation, processing optimisation and initial scoping level studies on the possibility of underground mining at both the Julie and Kunche deposits where there are clearly zones of robust mineralisation directly underlying the currently proposed pit bottoms.

“With Ibaera having commenced the sole funding of the Wa gold project for the next two years, Azumah’s investors can look forward to a strong results driven news flow in 2018 with the focus being on rapidly boosting Minerals Resources and Ore Reserves and repositioning the project for funding and development,” comments recently appointed project manager and Ibaera executive Peter Hairsine.

“There is an enormous opportunity to add considerable value to what is already a very solidly positioned project, a view supported by Ibaera’s highly regarded partner – Global Targeting and Research, Dr Jon Hronsky, who sees an exciting opportunity for discoveries and extensions to existing deposits,” he adds.

Ibaera funding transaction

On 1 September 2017 Azumah Resources executed a transformative Earn-In and Shareholders Agreement (EISA) with Perth managed private equity group, Ibaera Capital GP, whereby Ibaera can earn in two stages over two years up to a 47.5% direct interest in Azumah’s Wa gold project for an expenditure of US$13.5 million.

The terms of the EISA set out the basis for the parties to boost mineral resources, ore reserves and to deliver a study supporting a decision to proceed to production within the next two years.

Ibaera’s investment in the project was preceded by a review of some two hundred other international resource projects and a very thorough due diligence on the project itself over several months.

Ibaera does not presently hold and will not earn any equity in Azumah Resources.

Wa gold project

The Wa gold project is located in the upper west region in the far northwest of Ghana along the border with Burkina Faso.

The Black Volta river marks the western border of the project area and the Burkina Faso border.

The regional capital, Wa (from which the project takes its name), is located within 10 km of the project area.

The project comprises the three separate tenement blocks.

The Wa-Lawra block in the west covers a large area of approximately 2177.0 km² in located to the west and north-west of the town of Wa.

It runs north-south for c. 110 km immediately east of the Burkina Faso border along the Black Volta river.

The Wa East block includes the Josephine and Julie-Collette licence blocks located east of Wa.

Feature image credit: Azumah Resources