Today Cote d’Ivoire is among the fastest-growing economies in the world, and one of the most dynamic in West Africa. Côte d’Ivoire introduced a progressive new mining code in 2014, and on-going infrastructure improvements are making the country one of the more investor-friendly countries in Africa. There is a strong desire to diversify the economy with gold and other mineral products. Exporting electricity is playing an increasing role in this diversification.
The country has 5 major producing gold mines and a number of near term development projects including Ity 4.5 Moz and Agbou (Endeavour), Yaoure 3.4 Moz and Sissingue (Perseus), Tongon 2.7 Moz (Barrick) and Bonicro (Newcrest). Other mineral commodities that offer the potential for economic development in Côte d’Ivoire include diamonds, petroleum, natural gas, copper, iron, cobalt, bauxite, tantalum, lithium and silica sand.
The Company’s assets consist of rights over two granted exploration permits, the Agboville and the Sikensi Permits that secure a total area of 792 km2, and two exploration permit application areas, Azaguie and Gomon, which cover 397 km2 and 214 km2 respectively (Tenements or Project). The Tenements are located in Côte d’Ivoire and are considered to be highly prospective for gold. The project area is well located in terms of infrastructure and access, being less than 100 kilometres to the north east of the economic capital of Côte d‘Ivoire, Abidjan.
Geologically speaking the Project lies within in the south east of the West African Craton in an area referred to as the South-Comoe domain, part of what is referred to as the Birimian. The geology of the South-Comoe domain is dominated by Paleoproterozoic greenstone belts and metasedimentary basins. The dominant rocks in the area are Birimian-age teriginous sedimentary rocks of the Comoe series comprising sandstones with a phyllitic matrix, arkoses and pelitic layers.
Exploration work in the area, in modern times began with the acquisition of aeromagnetic data over much of the country between 1974 and 1976. In 1992 regional geology maps were produced by the Ministere des Mines et de L’Energie – Direction de la Geology. Much of the area now covered by the Agboville and Sikensi Permits, and approximately the eastern one third of the Gomon exploration permit application area was previously held by Golden Star Resources. Between 2006 – 20010 Golden Star completed a BLEG (Bulk Leach Extractable Gold) stream sediment, laterite and soil sampling programs. This work defined a large robust two large robust gold-in-soil anomalies. The first, the broadest is orientated east – west, 3.5 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide; the second, the longest is orientated north east to south west and is in excess of 10 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide. The maximum gold assay returning from the soil samples was 4.11 g/t gold (4,110 ppb). The following table shows all soil samples that returned particularly high gold values (over 250 ppb).
During 2018 exploration was focused on collection, collation and interpretation of historical data relating to the Agboville project. On the basis of this data an orientation soil sampling program was undertaken in May and June 2018. During this program a total of 408 samples were collected. Results from the program are considered extremely encouraging, they confirmed and further defined the Tyche anomaly and suggested it could extend at least further 10 kilometres to the south west.
During the year Phase 2 follow-up soil sampling program commenced and was approximately 2/3 completed before the program was suspended due to heavy ains and difficult access in mid-September. Results from this regional 1600m x 100m Belg sampling designed to test the south western extent of the already 20km long Tyche gold-in-soil anomaly are viewed as extremely encouraging and has defined an additional 10km of strike.
Multielement XRF determination was completed on pressed soil pellets. Results of the program are viewed as extremely encouraging. Data is clearly identifying different lithologies and is providing useful information regarding alteration and multielement responses to mineralization. Not all results have been assessed and interpreted in detail but preliminary data suggests this approach is useful for mapping lithology. The data has also returned some highly anomalous results: Maximum (not necessarily the same sample) Cr 1.01%, 205ppm Cu, 7ppm Hg, 4.6% Mg, 1486ppm Ni, 42ppm Sb, 92ppm W and 191ppm Zn.
Figure: Agboville Project – Tyche Gold Prospect, thematically mapped gold on simplified geology, also showing lag anomalies, location of drilling and location of contoured gold-in-soil anomaly and location of Aircore drill traverse completed in April-May 2019 and trenches completed August 2019. Soil data has been deconstructed to show 1600m x 100m data only.
During 2019 a 174hole 6,000m reconnaissance Air Core drill program was completed over the northern most completed 10 kilometres of the Tyche Prospect. The drilling program was considered successful and assay results are considered encouraging. The work identified significant mineralisation in a number of holes that suggest a fertile structure capable of hosting economic mineralisation. Width and grades of intercepts are considered encouraging and suggest a large gold system.
The program consisted of approximately 3.5km discrete heel-to-toe shallow drill traverses and provided useful insights into the project geology and style of mineralisation. Drilling has confirmed the stripped, shallow weathering profile with little to no transported cover. Average hole depth 35m and average vertical hole depth 26m.
Drilling and line clearance have uncovered a strain partitioned shear zone over a width of ~1km with more intense shear zones up to 30m wide, generally striking ~060o and moderate to steeply dipping to the south east. In the northern part of anomaly shear zone is located within meta-siltstones and meta-arenites characterized by intense sericite alteration within the shear zone (20-30m in places). Petrology indicates dominantly – muscovite, biotite, chlorite with minor magnetite and sulphides (pyrite and chalcopyrite) alteration assemblages. Gold mineralisation is largely but not exclusively associated with quartz veining. For the most part mineralised intercepts are interpreted, from outcrop and drilling, to have a moderate to steep southeasterly dip.
Of the 174 holes, 117 returned anomalous intercepts i.e. 0.06 g/t gold and above (5 x detection limit), of those 72 holes contained highly anomalies intercepts >0.10 g/t gold and 21 holes contained intercepts of >0.50 g/t gold. More significant intercepts from the auger style drilling include:
Due to the large target size the Company intends to build on the geological understanding to prioritise exploration and geophysical techniques to vector in on the most prospective part of the system for follow up drill testing.
Figure: Agboville Project – Tyche Gold Prospect, contoured gold-in-soil anomaly and location of Aircore drill traverse completed in April-May 2019.
Figure: Aircore drilling, significant intercepts and intervals together with imaged gold-in-soil anomaly and interpreted high grade trends. Drilled portion of the Tyche gold-in-soil anomaly northern 10km only.
Figure: Tyche Gold Anomaly – Aircore drilling section #4. Simplified geological section showing assay results and presence of quartz veining and alteration (note alteration is difficult to identify in the weathered zone).
During the year a total of 2 trenches were excavated. Trenches targeting gold-in-soil anomaly located ~5km south of the southern most aircore drill traverse completed in May 2019 for the most part reached saprock and effectively tested the soil anomaly. Results from trench 2 are in particular considered extremely encouraging and continue to point to a large gold system (See Figure for trenches location and Plates 1 and 2). Assay results include:
Including : 44m @ 0.28 g/t gold
which includes: 6m @ 1.15 g/t gold and
and: 2m @ 1.80 g/t gold
While as expected individual quartz, veins returned up to 2.8 g/t gold, portions of the trench where no quartz veins were logged returned grades of over 1 g/t gold. Due to the large target size the Company intends to build on the geological understanding to prioritise exploration and geophysical techniques to vector in on the most prospective part of the system for follow up drill testing.