Gold production dominates Mali’s natural resource sector, with Mali being the third largest gold exporter in Africa. Gold is by far Mali’s most important export, comprising nearly 70% of total exports in 2017. Gold panning form artisanal miners contribute approximately 10% of gold exports. Over two million people, representing more than 10% of the population, depending on the mining sector for income. Mali also has other mineral prospects as the majority of the territory remains largely unexplored and unmapped. Mali has a demonstrated history of discovery and the ability to deliver value by building mines.
The Project is located in within the Kenieba Gold Province in Western Mali, West Africa, approximately 560 km west of the Capital of Mali, Bamako.
The Keougou-Kenieba Inlier is located to the extreme north-west of the Man shield and comprises a volcano-sedimentary sequence of Birimian rocks, tightly folded, and weakly metamorphosed during the Eburnean orogeny and intruded by syn-to-late tectonic granites. Upper Mid to Late Proterozoic sandstones and inter-bedded pebble conglomerates of the Taoudeni basin (often termed the Infra Cambrian), unconformably overlies the Birimian. Both the sedimentary and volcanic sequences are cross cut by dolerite, diorite and lamprophyre dykes.
In general the Birimian rocks comprise a series of fine-grained sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The sedimentary sequence consists of arenite, argillite, calc-silicates, greywacke and carbonates. The volcanic formations comprise andesites tuffs, tholeiitic basalts, and rhyolites with the mafic components predominating. The area underlain by African Golds Falémé Project comprises mostly sediments of the Daléma/Kofi Series.
In Western Mali, the Birimian rocks are transected by the regional NNW-SSE trending strike-slip fault known as the Senegal-Malian Shear Zone. This fault is present over a strike length of more than 500km. It is thought that Sadiola, Yatela, Fekola and Loulo gold deposits are related to this major structure.
In July 2019, African Gold’s 100% owned Malian subsidiary African Gold Mali SARL entered into four option agreements to acquire gold projects located in the highly prospective and prolific gold producing Kenieba Inlier in western Mali known as the Falémé Gold Project. The secured Falémé Gold Project on the Senegal Mali Shear Zone is located centrally between the Loulou-Gounkoto mine (14 Moz gold Barrick) 45 km to the south and the Sadiola mine (13 Moz gold IAMGold/AngloGold Ashanti)3 and 40 km to the north in the prolific Kenieba Inlier in Western Mali.
The properties are located in the hanging wall within 15km of the interpreted position of the central Senegal Mali Shear Zone (SMSZ). The majority of the large world-class gold deposits in Mali are located in close proximity to the SMSZ which include Fekola 5.2 Moz (B2Gold), Loulo 14 Moz (Barrick), Gounkoto 5.4 Moz (Barrick), Yatala 3 Moz (IAMGold/AngloGold Ashanti)X and Sadiola 15 Moz (IAMGold/AngloGold Ashanti).
The Tintinba Nord, Bourdala, BouBou and Diokena Sud permits which comprise African Gold Ltd’s new Falémé Gold Project are located in favourable structural positions associated with splays and accommodation structures close to and associated with the SMSZ. All the acquired permits have significant demonstrated gold anomalism either in the form of artisanal gold workings, gold-in-soil anomalies and or historic drill intercepts.
Fewer than 25 shallow drill holes have been completed on only three prospects (all targeting artisanal sites) within the Falémé Gold Project area. Many of these have returned significant intercepts, structure and alteration.
Selected historical reconnaissance RC and Diamond drill intercepts include:
Demba Massa Prospect:
Bourdala West Prospect:
Encouragingly for the discovery of a large gold system is the identification of broad zones of alteration, shearing encompassing multiple lithologies. Recently completed soil sampling surveys by the previous company at Diokeba and BouBou Prospects have returned numerous >1km, coherent, robust >40ppb gold-in-soil anomalies that have never been drill tested. There are multiple high-priority walk up drill targets on the properties. Planned work programs will initially consist of geological and regolith mapping on all permits; soil geochemical programs (infill on Diokeba and BouBou Prospects); ready for follow up drill testing.
In October 2019 African Gold Limited announced that has entered into a share purchase agreement with Abra Resources Pty Ltd to acquire 100% of Abra which, through its wholly owned Malian subsidiary, owns the Samanafoulou, Sitikili, Yatia, Golokasso gold projects, and the option to purchase a 95% interest in the Walia gold project in Mali.
Four of the five permits are located in the highly prospective and prolific gold producing Kenieba Inlier in western Mali and the remaining permit is located along strike from the Syama Gold Mine in southern Mali.
Kedougou-Keneiba Inlier, western Mali. The permit is located less than 25 km from the operating gold plants at Loulo 14 Moz (Barrick Gold)4 and Tabakoto (Algom Resources)8. The Tabakoto-Kofi ore haulage road passes approximately 5 km to the east of the Sitakili permit.
The Project area hosts folded, generally NNE-trending metapelite and metagreywacke lithologies and is traversed by a series of NNE trending structures relating to the regional D2 and D3 deformation events and accompanying gold mineralisation. Large-scale artisanal workings within the project area have exploited multiple in-situ gold lodes and quartz veins hosted in felsic intrusive rocks. Artisanal mining has also exploited extensive gold bearing gravels shedding from the in-situ gold deposits and from the base of a cuirasse horizon which blankets the area. There are no records of the quantity of gold recovered by the artisanal miners.
Primary high-grade gold mineralisation has been intersected in sporadic reverse circulation (RC) drilling and diamond drilling (DD). Generally, gold mineralisation at Sitakili is related to quartz-carbonate veins and veinlets in bands and stockworks hosted within a felsic dyke that is interpreted to have intruded pre-existing structure along a NNE-trending fold axis analogous to the Tabakoto Gold Mine (+2.1Moz)2, situated on-trend about 20 km to the south.
Large-scale artisanal workings occur at the localities of Kirchon, Grand Filon, Makandja, and Djimissi. Artisinal mine pits and stopes are up to 15 m wide and extend along strike for in excess of 2 km. Mine openings are typically 10-15 m deep, with some small shafts (utilising water pumping equipment) extending to about 25 m to selectively mine high-grade saprolite zones. Most of the workings appear to be relatively recent; local community suggest they were mostly opened up in the last 10 years. Significantly, the historical drilling (last done in 2005) is believed to have been completed prior to the artisanal “discovery” of the primary zones at Kirchon and Makandja, suggesting the extensive workings now evident at these locations remain relatively untested by drilling. More significant historical drill results include:
Grand Filon Prospect:
There are multiple high priority walk up drill targets in this permit. Systematic RC drilling will be taken to evaluate known mineralised structures and their strike extent.
Kedougou-Keneiba Inlier, western Mali. The southern boundary of the Walia permit abuts the Loulo mining lease (Barrick Loulou Mine 14Moz4). The Loulo milling complex is situated approximately 10km to the south of the permit.
The Walia Gold Project area hosts folded generally NNW-trending metapelite and metagreywacke lithologies, including gold prospective tourmaline altered sandstone and breccia, occurring to the east of the SMSZ. Second-order shear splays trend NNE-SSW, crosscutting the regional sedimentary layering and folding. Gold in soil and auger anomalies occur in proximity to gold prospective tourmaline alteration and structure at Walia. Very limited drilling has been done on the permit.
Historical mapping, airborne magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, surface geochemical sampling, auger drilling, rotary air blast (RAB) drilling have defined a number of priority targets, some of which have been partially tested or not tested at all.
There are multiple high priority walk up drill targets in this permit. Systematic RC drilling will be taken to evaluate previously defined geochemical/drilling/geological targets.
Regolith within the Walia permit is generally dominated by transported gravels (cuirasse) and colluvial deposits which mask the gold prospective sub-surface rocks. Some auger has been undertaken, however large portions of the permit have not been effectively sampled beneath cover and the permit remains largely underexplored. In areas that have been partially auger sampled, potentially five anomalies occur in proximity to interpreted gold prospective tourmaline alteration and structure. Anomalous RAB results occur at one of these prospects; the remaining areas not been tested by any form of reconnaissance drilling. Infill auger and/or immediate follow up AC drilling is warranted.
Auger sampling of weathered in situ material is a well-established technique in this terrane. It is proposed that systematic auger coverage be completed, initially east of SMSZ, and later extending over the entire Walia permit. There is a strong expectation that this initial auger program would generate targets for subsequent AC follow up drilling and eventual RC drill testing.
Kedougou-Keneiba Inlier, western Mali. The eastern boundary of the Yatia permit abuts the Tabakoto mining lease (Algom Resources). The Tabakoto Mill is situated approximately 5 km to the south-east of the permit boundary. The western boundary of the permit abuts the Kofi mining lease (Algom Resources).
The project area is generally underlain by gold prospective NNW trending Birimian-age meta-sediments, metavolcanics and granite. Artisanal gold mining occurs at two localities on the Yatia permit; Segala Ouest and Baroye. The 450m long artisanal mine camp at Segala Ouest is an extension of the NW-striking Segala Mine trend. The Segala deposit (0.8Mozs)8, located on the Tabakoto mining lease, is exploited by Algom Resources utilising open pit and underground techniques. Ore is transported to the Tabakoto Mill.
Significant gold mineralisation has been intersected in drilling and trenching at a number of locations on the Yatia permit. Loulo-style alteration has also been intersected in limited drilling, historical drill results include:
The regolith setting is not well defined at Yatia. Large areas are expected to be masked by thin transported gravels and colluvium. The context of the systematic soil geochemistry undertaken to date requires more understanding before the next phase of exploration.
Kedougou-Kenieba Inlier, western Mali. The Samanafoulou Gold Project is located in the Kayes region of west Mali, approximately 600km by road from Bamako in the geological Mako group, in the interpreted hanging-wall to the crustal scale Main Transcurrent Zone structure. Gold deposits of Sabodala (5.3 Moz), Massawa (2.6 Moz) and Mako (1.4 Moz) are hosted in similar setting in Senegal.
The Samanafouolou permit is at an early stage of evaluation and very limited exploration work has been undertaken. Reconnaissance soil sampling by government agencies has returned a number of anomalous results (max 279 ppb Au) in wide spaced (1000m x 250m) sampling.
Interpretation of regional magnetics and geology has defined a significant structural/magnetic/geological target that’s coincident with anomalous regional soil geochemistry.
Further mapping and infill soil sampling are required to investigate the potential for gold mineralisation.