Canadian intermediate gold producer SEMAFO has increased the inferred mineral resource at its Bantou gold project in Burkina Faso to 2.2 Moz.
Burkina Faso – The company will publish the resource statement in early March, along with its full reserves and resources statement, which are estimated as at December 31, 2019.
“2019 was a successful exploration year at SEMAFO and Bantou’s inferred resource of 2.2 Moz puts us in a good position to achieve our resource objective of 2.5 Moz to 3 Moz by year-end,” says SEMAFO President and CEO Benoit Desormeaux.
Desormeaux Congratulated exploration VP Richard Roy and the exploration team for adding 1.2 million drill-bit ounces in 2019. The team had already added 0.7 Moz with the tuck-in acquisition of Savary Gold.
Bantou’s initial 2020 exploration budget of US$4 million is likely to increase as the company begins to explore outside of the existing zones and follow up on its exciting intersections, such as the 14.6 g/t over 21 meter intersection at Tiébi.
“More than 90% of the inferred resource is pit-constrained, and we anticipate strong financial returns considering the Bantou Nord 1:1 pit-shell strip ratio. This 2.2-million ounce resource is a visible sign of Bantou’s district scale potential,” says Desormeaux.
The inferred resource comprises two main areas, with the majority of the tons and ounces centered around the Bantou and Bantou Nord Zones.
The Bantou Nord Zone is located 1.5 km north of the Bantou Zone with the remaining Karankasso Zones are located 15 to 30 km from the main zones.
The Bantou Nord resource is pit-constrained and although it has the lowest grade, its low 1:1 strip ratio would enhance the economics of the project. 65% percent of the Bantou Zone resource is pit-constrained, and the remaining resource was estimated using a cut-off grade of 2 g/t Au below the pit. The Bantou Zone remains open at depth and offers potential for expansion of additional underground resources.
Overview of Q4 2019 exploration at Bantou
In view of the early success in discovering Bantou Nord, the first nine months of 2019 were dedicated to developing the resources at Bantou and Bantou Nord. In the fourth quarter, the focus moved to areas outside the existing resources.
Planned 2020 exploration programme at Bantou
Bantou’s initial 2020 exploration budget of $4 million is likely to increase as the exploration programme moves outside the existing zones and follows up on interesting intersections like the one made at Tiébi.
Tiébi is located 4 km northeast of the Kueredougou Ouest deposit along what appears to be a splay of the main regional structure hosting the Karankasso deposits. Hole KARC19-0127 (14.6 g/t Au over 21 m) represents the last easternmost hole of the section and will be followed up on in 2020. This section was the only drilling completed on this interpreted splay over a strike length of more than 3 km.