Desert Gold Ventures Inc (TSX.V: DAU), a TSX.V quoted mineral exploration company focussed on West Africa, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Cooperation Agreement (‘the Agreement’) with Alecto Minerals (AIM: ALO), a AIM quoted mineral exploration company and titleholder of the Alecto’s Kossanto East Gold Project (‘Kossanto East) which neighbours Farabantourou Gold Permit (‘Farabantourou’), with a view to jointly developing both deposits together into production.
- Desert Gold and Alecto to pool resources and expertise to assess the potential of developing Farabantourou and Kossanto East in Mali into production in a best endeavours and cost-efficient collaborative effort
- Desert Gold has a resource of 114,586 oz Au, (43,794 oz indicated and 70,792 inferred category, respectively) at an average grade of 2 g/t at Barani East, and has filed a technical report for the deposit
- Alecto Minerals has published a JORC-code compliant inferred mineral resource estimate of 247,000 oz Au at a grade of 1.14 g/t at Gourbassi
- The above resources at Farabantourou and Gourbassi could be combined and a total resource estimate completed for a global figure
- Both deposits fall within a potential 10-km trucking radius from a central location
- Both Company’s have multiple other exploration targets, defined by gold-insoil anomalies and historical drill intercepts, within their respective permit boundaries which could provide additional tonnage for a collaborative project
- Additional upside potential exists at Alecto’s Kossanto West Gold Project (‘Kossanto West’), which is immediately to the west of Kossanto East
Roeland van Kerckhoven, President and CEO Desert Gold commented: “Our collaboration with Alecto should enable both companies to benefit from shared knowledge, economies of scale and create shareholder value more quickly. Desert Gold has already filed an NI 43-101 compliant technical report for the Barani East deposit and it is natural that we should now look at bulking up the tonnage with concomitant lower unit costs. We are excited to work together on this project as each party brings much to the table in terms of experience, resource ounces and significant further exploration upside.”
Mark Jones, CEO Alecto added: “Working in collaboration through sharing information and resourceswith Desert Gold marks a significant step towards our goal of bringing ourKossanto East Gold deposit into production to generate early cashflow whilst maximising potential cost savings. Our teams have conducted lowcost exploration with excellent results over the past 18 months and together we agree that financial stability will be best achieved by establishing a cash generative backbone to the business while continuing to operate at low cost.
“Internal estimates suggest that there is significant scope to bring these deposits together to develop a commercial mining opportunity. Notably we have already been in discussions with potential funding partners for this innovative venture, and whilst these discussions are at an early stage, we believe the interest has been highly positive. We look forward to working with Desert Gold in 2015 and we hope that this cooperation agreement will lead to a strong and close working relationship going forward.”
The Agreement will allow both Desert Gold and Alecto to explore how CAPEX can be reduced by operating together, with the ultimate goal of near term production. It has been agreed that all options should be reviewed; from the possibility of a single processing plant that processes ore from each deposit through to further corporate or project level activity.
Both companies have drill intersections at other targets within the area of interest, which could each offer similar size resources and thus significantly increase the size of any joint venture project. It is important to note that within the same 10-km trucking radius, defined in Figure 1, there are further deposits with JORC or NI 43- 101 compliant mineral resource estimates completed. Alecto and Desert will continue to discuss with these companies with a view to expanding the cooperation concept and potentially open up a million ounce gold mining project.
The Agreement sets the conditions for the companies to jointly develop a Preliminary Economic Assessment, which, if positive, will pave the way for a more formal agreement. It is envisaged that this initial phase of work should take no more than three months –and given the intention of all Parties to fast-track this project every effort will be made to complete the work quickly.
Further information about the Farabantourou Gold Project
The exploration of the Farabantourou permit identified several zones of mineralisation of which the Barani East deposit became the focus for a fast track to exploitation.
Geologically, the permit straddles the well-known Senegal-Mali-Shear-Zone (SMSZ) along which the Sadiola, Yatella and the Loulo-Gountoko mines are situated. The SMSZ is recognised as the principal geological feature controlling the mineralisation in West Mali. Minrealisation at BaraniEast is hosted in a fault/shear zone, proximal to the SMSZ. While the Barani East deposit is presently defined over a strike length of 400m, to a depth of 220m, the mineralisation is open ended at depthwith potential for underground mining.
The permit can be considered to have potential to produce additional significant resources. These were identified in the above mentioned NI 43-101 report, viz.:
- At Barani East there is potential to further define the resource by exploring along the strike extension of the fault, to the northeast, over a strike of approximately 3 km.
- At Keniegoulou the possibility of extending the target along strike to approximately 2 km exists. The first 14 lines of drilling all intersected mineralisation–a NNW trend is observed along an interpreted fault.
- At Dambamba it is possible to increase the overall target strike extent to 2.5 km to the south along the interpreted fault line as it is postulated.
- At Kousilli the current drilling in this area intersected mineralisation in only two of the four fence lines. However, if the drilling is overlain by the geochemical anomalies including the interpretation of the IP and resistivity surveys, two NE trending targets may be postulated.
Further information about the Kossanto Gold Project
Kossanto East area is just one-third of the Kossanto Gold project and has been the area of most operational activity in the 2013/14 field season.
The Company recently announced that it is discussions for a potential joint venture for the exploration of Kossanto West which is considered to be a potentialmultimillion ounce projectto the west of Kossanto East. Alecto intersected high grade quartz veins in the 2014 drilling season. The Kossanto West project area is not currently included in this Cooperation Agreement due to its different geology and the fact that Alecto is currently in discussions with other parties. However, if a processing plant is developed at Kossanto East then ore from any resource defined at Kossanto West could be trucked to East with distances not exceeding 20-km.
This announcement has been reviewed by Dr. Luc Antoine, Technical Director of Geoscientific and Exploration Services, who has more than 25 years of relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. He is a member of the Geological Society of South Africa ('GSSA') and he has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.
Desert Gold contact information
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This news release contains forward-looking statements respecting the Company's ability to successfully complete the Offering. These forward-looking statements entail various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations, are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks, and actual results may differ materially from those contained in such statements, including the inability of the Company to successfully complete the Offering. These uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, the strength of the capital markets, the price of gold; operational, funding, and liquidity risks; the degree to which mineral resource estimates are reflective of actual mineral resources; and the degree to which factors which would make a mineral deposit commercially viable are present; the risks and hazards associated with mining operations. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the company's disclosure materials filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada and available at www.sedar.com and readers are urged to read these materials. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from such statements unless required by law.