Gold in Mauritania

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The Tasiast deposit is located within the Archean age Aouéouat greenstone belt, a 70 km long by 15 km wide north-south trending belt of mostly supracrustal rocks situated within the south-western sector of the Reguibat Shield (or Dorsale Reguibat). The rocks to either side of the greenstone belt consist of granitoids and gneisses.
The Guelb Moghrein deposit appears to be of Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) type, and is hosted by gently dipping mafic volcanics and sediments, adjacent to a small gabbroic intrusive. Copper-gold mineralization, which comprises coarsely disseminated chalcopyrite and cubanite, with minor free gold, cobaltite and arsenopyrite, is associated with disseminated magnetite and intense siderite alteration of a mafic volcaniclastic unit.

  • Rio Narcea Gold Mines, Ltd (Canadian, TSX:RNG; AMEX:RNO) is developing the Tasiast gold deposit. The Tasiast gold project has measured and indicated resources of approximately 12,07 million tonnes averaging 3,06 g/t Au, or 1,19 million oz, which includes proven and probable reserves within four open pits of 9,01 million tonnes averaging 3,06 g/t Au, or approximately 886 000 ounces at a gold price of US$370 per ounce. In addition, inferred resources total 12,4 million tonnes averaging 2,25 g/t Au or approximately 899 000 oz. Tasiast is forecast to produce an average of 105 000 oz of gold annually over the current 8-year mine life at a cash operating cost of approximately $240 per ounce. This includes an initial stage of approximately three years during which Tasiast will produce approximately 120,000 oz annually at a cash cost of approximately $220 per ounce. Lundin Mining Corporation (Canadian, LUN.TO, LUNCF.PK) made a friendly C$1-billion all-cash bid for Rio Narcea Gold Mines Ltd in April,2007. Lundin plans to sell Rio Narcea's interest in the Tasisast gold project to Red Back Mining Inc. for $225-million (U.S.) in cash and the assumption of C$42,5-million in debt.
  • Red Back Mining Inc took ownership of Tasiast in August, 2007, and 148 000 t of ore have been batch treated at a head grade of 4, 44 g/t and 96% recovery, resulting in production of 20 138 oz of gold. It is anticipated that approximately 23 000 oz will be produced for 2007, and going forward, budgeted production at the expanded Tasiast for 2008 is 100 000 oz to 110 000 oz.
  • Shield Mining Ltd (Australian, SLMDF.PK) holds five Group 2 permits (gold and base metal) that cover a total area of 7381km2. The permits are located in the north-west corner of Mauritania, close to the international border with Western Sahara (north) and Algeria (north-east), between 800km and 1200km north-east of the capital Nouakchott. Applications were submitted during the middle of 2005 for a further six Group 2 permits with a total area of 8210 square kilometers. It has also signed a joint venture agreement with General Mining Services S.A. of Mauritania to explore their Saboussiri permit in southern Mauritania. The terms of the JV are such that Shield will immediately acquire a 60% interest in the permit. Shield will undertake and fund the exploration of the permit up to a bankable feasibility study at which point both parties will contribute proportionally. Both parties have pre-emptive rights. BRGM discovered copper mineralisation in jaspilites and hematite breccias at the main prospect of Diaguili in the early 1970’s and undertook two campaigns of drilling resulting in very significant, but conflicting results. General Gold carried out soil sampling campaigns which delineated a number of Cu-Au anomalies. Subsequent drill testing of these failed to produce any significant results. BHP Billiton identified the potential for IOCG (Iron Oxide Copper Gold) targets on the property and undertook remote sensing and airborne geophysical surveys in the period 2000 - 2003. Despite identifying a number of anomalies the company relinquished the tenement before testing any of them.

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