Gold in Mali

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Birimian greenstone belts host the known structurally controlled gold mineralization in south-western and southern Mali. Morila is a predominantly flat lying mesothermal shear-zone-hosted deposit which occurs within a sequence of metamorphosed Birimian meta-sediments (amphibolite facies). Gold mineralization is associated with silica feldspar alteration and the sulphide minerals arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, and pyrite (with minor chalocopyrite).
For a detailed description of the geology, mineralization and other mineral resources, see Gold in Mali.

  • AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU; JSE:ANG) has three mines in Mali: Morila, Sadiola and Yatela. Morila (40%, Randgold Resources, (Nasdaq:GOLD; LSE:RRS), 40%) produced 655 000 oz of gold in 2005 at a grade of 5,41 g/t Au. Proved and probable ore reserves were 8,9 million t at a grade of 3,19 g/t Au or 29,5 t of gold. Sadiola (38%) and Yatela (40%) are close to each other and joint ventures with IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG; NYSE:IAG). Combined production was 688 000 oz of gold in 2005.
  • Avnel Gold Mining Limited (Canadian,TSX:AVK.TO) owns and operates the Kalana mine which produced 14 923 oz of gold in 2005. It has underground proven and probable mineral reserves of 428 000 oz contained in 936 000 tonnes at a grade of 14,2 g/t Au, between 100m and 300 metres below surface.
  • Nevsun Resources (AMEX:NSU; TSX:NSU) operates the Tabakoto mine and adjoining Segala mining license. The combined Tabakoto/Segala surface open pit reserve base is 0,95 million oz, with a 9 year life producing a nominal 100 000 oz of gold per year.
  • Resolute Mining Ltd (Australian, ASX:RSG) exercised its option to buy Randgold Resources’ 80% interest in the Syama mine (State of Mali 20%) in April 2004, which had been kept under care and maintenance. Resources at Syama at the end of 2003 were 5,2 million oz of gold contained in 50,5 million t of ore at an average grade of 3,2 g/t Au and a feasibility study is being carried out to determine the viability of restarting the mine. The new drilling and remodeling resulted in an increased total resource of 66,6 million tonnes at 3,0g/t Au or 6,43 million oz of gold.
  • Randgold Resources (Nasdaq:GOLD; LSE:RRS) operates the Loulo Mine, exploiting the Gara and Yalea orebodies and satellites with total measured and indicated reserves of 61,86 million t at a grade of 4,54 g/t Au or 9,03 million oz gold. Total production from the two open pits and two underground mines is expected to be in excess of 400 000 oz of gold per year. During 2006 exploration increased Loulo’s resources from 9,93 million oz to 11,35 million oz, and reserves increased from 5,59-million oz to 6,8-million oz.
  • Etruscan Resources (Canadian, TSX:EET) is exploring permits to the south of the Sadiola and Syama deposits. In June 2006, Etruscan announced a new gold discovery at Diba located 15 kilometers south of the Sadiola Gold Mine in Mali West. The mineralized zone at Diba covers an area measuring 2,5 kilometers in length and 300-500 meters in width. Etruscan's most advanced project in Mali is on the Finkolo exploration permit located in Mali South approximately 200 kilometers southeast of Bamako. The Finkolo permit covers 160 square kilometers along the Syama gold belt and is contiguous with the Syama holdings of Resolute Mining Ltd which hosts the 6,4 million oz Syama gold deposit. Resolute is managing and funding the exploration program at Finkolo pursuant to an option and joint venture agreement. Resolute has earned a 50% interest in Etruscan's 100% interest in the Finkolo Permit by expending US$2,000,000 prior to October 1, 2006. Resolute has the right to earn an additional 10% interest by either contributing a further US$1,000,000 to expenditures on the permit or completing a feasibility study by April 28, 2008. Drilling to date has concentrated on the Tabakoroni Zone, a well-defined volcano-sedimentary package that was outlined by an induced polarization survey over a distance of 6 kilometers. Gold mineralization at Tabakoroni has been traced over a distance of 1.7 kilometers and remains open to the north and to the south and at depth. Joint-venture partners Etruscan Resources and Resolute Mining boosted the resource estimate at the Tabakoroni deposit, on their co-owned Finkolo permit, in southern Mali, by 53%.
    At a 1 g/t cutoff, the updated resource estimate contains 4,62-million tons of measured and indicated resource, at 2,6 g/t (382 000 oz), and a further 4,54-million tons of inferred resource at 2,5 g/t (364 000 ounces), Estruscan said in a statement on January 7, 2008.
  • Axmin Inc announced on December 11, 2007, a 25% increase in the gold resource identified at its Kofi Gold Project in western Mali during a January through July 2007 drilling program. Indicated ounces have more than doubled to 293,000 oz; inferredoz remained essentiallyunchanged at 368,000 ounces.
  • Central African Gold plc (AIM:CAN) also active in Botswana and Ghana) started a drilling programme at its gold exploration Medinandi Permit in west Mali to validate and test the Fadougou Main Zone and Medinandi prospect targets as well as quantify new structural targets in the area. Central African Gold CAG and Mali Mining House (MMH) have established a Joint Venture company called Mali Gold Fields for the exploration and development of 24 gold licences covering approximately 2,500 km2 of the prospective Birimian Gold Belt in south and west Mali. A further 19 licences covering approximately 750 km2 will be introduced into the Joint Venture, shortly bringing the total area held to 3,250 km2. MMH was established by members of the Malian Union Nationale des Opérateurs Miniers (UNOMIN), a collective of Malian title-holders.
  • Glencar Mining plc (GCMXF.PK, also active in Ghana, Uganda) is exploring in southern Mali with an interest in five exploration concessions, totalling 1,250 square kilometres. Four of the five concessions, those at Komana, Bokoro, Sanioumale and Farasaba, are held 95% by Glencar (before the mandatory Government interest of 10%) and 5% by a Malian partner. Glencar holds a 51% interest in the fifth concession at Solona, and can acquire 100% of this concession through the payment of US$20,000 over a two year period. The Sankarani Project incorporates the three concessions at Bokoro, Sanioumale and Farasaba which are the subject of a Framework Agreement signed by Orogen Holding BVI Limited, a subsidiary of Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI; JSE:GFIELDS), whereby Orogen has agreed, subject to certain conditions, to expend up to US$12 million on exploration to earn a 65% interest in the concessions. Glencar announced in October, 2007, that a preliminary independent resource study, carried out by SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd (SRK), has reported a mineral resource of 520,000 ounces of gold at Komana West in Mali. A report, written by SRK to accompany the resource estimate, states that the 520,000 oz represents only a portion of the resource likely to be demonstrated at Komana West following further exploration. The density of the drilling carried out to date does not provide sufficient certainty regarding ore continuity to enable additional ounces to be brought into resource category at this time and the report states that further infill drilling has the potential to increase the resource reported above by up to some 200,000 additional oz. Drilling was also to begin shortly on the Komana East target some seven kilometres to the east where the previous licencee established a non-JORC compliant resource of 280,000 oz (2.46 million tonnes of ore grading 3.49 grams/tonne) with a series of RAB, auger and diamond cored drillholes and trenching.
  • North Atlantic Resources Ltd (Canadian, TSX:NAC.TO) has acquired an option on the 185 square kilometer Kourouba gold exploration permit in southern Mali. The Kourouba project is located in the Koulikoro Region, 150 kilometers southeast of the capital, Bamako. The property covers a strike length of 14 kilometers of prospective stratigraphy in the Birimian Yanfolila greenstone belt.In the central part of the property, a previously completed soil sampling program, at a density of 500 meters by 200 meters, defined a north-trending, continuous, gold in soil anomaly, with samples containing at least 100 parts per billion gold over a nominal strike length of 2,500 meters and a peak value of 1,420 parts per billion (1.42 grams per tonne gold). Follow-up soil sampling, completed by the vendor of the property, confirmed the presence of gold in termite mound samples, indicating that the gold in soil anomaly is probably coincident with gold in saprolite and bedrock below the anomaly. The Company initially plans to complete 2,000 to 3,000 meters of air core drilling to determine the location, nature, and trend of gold concentrations in saprolite and bedrock over a strike length of 2,500 meters. Contingent upon the results of the air core drilling, the Company will complete an induced polarization survey and additional drilling. With the addition of the Kourouba project, the Company has 8 gold projects comprising 1,676 square kilometers of mineral rights in Mali. Since 2002, the Company has made gold discoveries at the Kantela project (2004), FT project (2005), and Massala project (2006). At the FT deposit, which is estimated to contain 218,800 oz of gold in the inferred category and 160,700 oz of gold in the indicated category, the Company is reviewing the results of the latest phase of drilling and assaying completed in 2006. The purpose of the review is to make recommendations for further work on the deposit and on exploration targets elsewhere on the property. It is anticipated that an induced polarization survey will be completed over the deposit and its extensions in February, 2007, before the next phase of drilling is completed. The Company anticipates that future drilling would be greatly optimized by the ongoing review of the geology and grade distribution of the deposit. At the Kantela project, the Company is completing a review of the drilling at Zone 2 in order to complete a preliminary model of the gold zone, and to complete additional drilling, if warranted. At the Massala project, the Company is planning to complete an induced polarization survey in the area where a reverse circulation drill hole intersected 12 meters grading 3,26 grams per tonne gold in 2006. Contingent upon the results of the geophysical survey, the Company will complete additional drilling in order to trace the extensions of the gold zone. In addition to the aforementioned gold projects, the Company continues to review data from several promising gold exploration prospects in Mali and anticipates that additional projects will be acquired in 2007.
  • Delta Exploration Inc (DEV.V) is exploring four gold prospective properties covering areas of extensive artisanal mining that have produced significant coarse gold over the years. These include the Manalo and Koninko projects, situated some 100 km southwest of Mali's capital city, Bamako, and an area covering 150km² near the Mali-Guinea border.
  • Medoro Resources Ltd exercised its option to acquire rights to seven of nine gold exploration and exploitation areas in the Republic of Mali for US$2.09 million, in September, 2007.
    The gold exploration company said it also issued 5.20 million of its shares to acquire African Gold Resources SA, a Panamanian company which holds the options to acquire the properties.
  • African Gold Group Inc (AGG) has entered into a joint-venture (JV) agreement with Randgold Resources to explore AGG's Bagoe east and west concessions in Mali, the company said in November, 2007.
    The Bagoe east and west concessions are located about 50 km from the Morila mine - one of the most significant gold discoveries on the African continent in recent times - which is jointly owned by Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti and the government of Mali.
    AGG explained that Randgold would fund the exploration costs including the prefeasibility study, assuming the preliminary exploration results met Randgold's investment criteria.
    On completion of the prefeasibility study Randgold would acquire a 51% participation interest in the JV, and AGG's stake would be 49%.
  • Merrex Gold Inc (TSX VENTURE:MXI) owns a large land position in the West Mali gold producing area. Together with strategic partner Touba Mining, Merrex has acquired five mineral permits covering over 750 square kilometres and has permit applications in progress for an additional approximately 250 square kilometres, all within the West Mali Gold Belt, a region which currently produces in excess of one million ounces of gold per year from such well known large gold deposits as the Sadiola, Loulo and Tabakoto mines. The Merrex permits cover land with significant geological structures, associated geochemically anomalous gold zones, extensive orpailleur alluvial gold workings and artisinal underground workings.The Sirabaya Gold project is the main focus for the company and initial drilling results have been encouraging.

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