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Market Price: $2,422.28

Exploration Drill Program Proposed at SMSZ Project

Surrey, British Columbia, February 1, 2024 Desert Gold Ventures Inc. (the “Company”) (TSX.V: DAU, FSE: QXR2, OTC: DAUGF) is pleased to announce the initiation of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) to determine the viability of mining oxide and transition mineral resources at its Barani East and Gourbassi West gold deposits. These deposits lie on Desert Gold’s SMSZ Property in western Mali (see Figures 1 and 2).

Company CEO Jared Scharf commented “Management believes that gold in the oxidized portion of the Barani East and Gourbassi West Deposits can be profitably extracted. As such, a PEA has been initiated. If the PEA confirms our initial assumptions, work will be carried out to advance the project towards production. Assuming mining is initiated, the Company’s goal will be to use the free cash flow to fund ongoing exploration at our SMSZ Project.” Mr. Scharf also commented “With so many oxide targets on such a large property package, management believes there is significant merit in designing a mobile plant and camp that could be moved from one deposit area to another so that the Company can take advantage of the oxide facies gold mineralization that caps most of the deposits on our property and in the region. The Company’s core objective remains the develop of a tier 1 gold project through targeted exploration. We believe both initiatives, mining and exploration, can be run concurrently.”

Technical study (the “PEA”)


A PEA is being initiated to determine the economic viability of mining oxide gold resources at its Barani East and Gourbassi West gold deposits with gold recovery by heap leach. Emphasis will be placed on designing a mobile, camp, crushing and gold recovery infrastructure that could be moved from one oxide deposit to another.

Overall, the oxide and transition portion of two deposits contains measured and indicated mineral resources of 131,000 ounces* of gold grading 1.41 g/t Au and inferred mineral resources of 55,000 ounces* of gold grading 1.22 g/t Au.

Barani East and Barani Gap Deposits

Oxide and transition mineral resources at Barani East and Barani Gap comprise measured and indicated mineral resources of 53,700* ounces Au grading 2.09 g/t Au and inferred mineral resources of 40,700* ounces grading 1.33 g/t Au (see Figure 3 for location).

At Barani East, in 2014, 2-tonne metallurgical sample of oxide mineralization, ground to 80% passing 70 micron grading 2.74 g/t Au, was first subjected to a 21.6% mass pull spiral concentrate and then an intense leach combined with normal leaching of the tails over 24 hours, recovered 78.7% of the gold*.

The Barani East oxide and transition resources lie above the Barani East deposit which contains fresh rock measured and indicated mineral resource totaling 37,500 ounces grading 1.78 g/t Au and an additional inferred mineral resource of 33,700 ozs grading 1.66 g/t Au*.

Bottle roll leach tests of the fresh rock Barani East gold mineralization, ground to 85% passing 75 microns and leaching over 72 hours suggest gold recoveries ranging from 83% to 98.7%*. This data suggest that fresh rock gold mineralization may also be heap leachable.

Gourbassi West Deposit

Oxide and transition mineral resources at Gourbassi West comprises measured and indicated mineral resources of 77,200* ounces Au grading 0.93 g/t Au and inferred mineral resources of 14,600* ounces grading 0.91 g/t Au (see Figure 4 for location).

Three samples of oxide gold mineralization, grading 0.33, 0.67 and 1.05 g/t Au, were ground to 80% passing 100 microns and subject to a 48-hour bottle roll cyanide leach. Gold recoveries of 92.4%, 94.3% and 94.2%, respectively, were attained with most of the gold recovered in 24 hours.

Gourbassi West North Deposit

The 1.6 km long Gourbassi West North Deposit lies 500 metres north of the Gourbassi West Deposit (Figure 4). The upper 25-30 metres of this deposit is oxidized and is expected, as per other oxide gold zones on the property and region, to have gold recoveries in excess of 90%. A mineral resource estimate of this zone will be carried out and, if deemed material, this zone will be considered as potential feed for a heap leach component of the PEA.

Planned Work

Step one includes completing additional holes to collect fresh material for metallurgical test work including column leach tests that are required to determine expected gold recoveries if the ore is subject to heap leaching. This drilling would also be used to provide geotechnical information for pit slope stability, ore hardness and ore character. This information would then be used to determine throughput rates, gold recoveries and gold recovery options and what equipment is required for the proposed mine project.

Additional drilling, of up to 19 holes totaling 925 metres, at Barani East/Barani Gap, may also be carried out as part of the study with a goal to upgrade some of the inferred mineral resources to indicated mineral resources and to provide additional material for metallurgical studies.

Six core holes totaling 765 metres are planned at both Gourbassi West and Gourbassi West North, to collect metallurgical samples for column leach testing and to supply geotechnical data for pit and processing designs.

Once the above data has been collected, it will be sent to an independent consultant to prepare a NI 43-101 compliant PEA Study report and financial model. Extra care will be taken to cost out the camp, mobile and plant components as accurately as practical.


Exploration drilling is proposed over the Mogoyafara South Deposit, which comprises a 421,800 oz Inferred mineral resource grading 1.05 g/t Au*. This deposit occurs within a multi-km scale sigmoidal-shaped magnetic feature and is open in all directions with recent auger drilling highlighting potential proximal new zones. The current drill proposal includes 32 RC holes totaling 3,795 metres and 2 diamond drill holes totaling 500 metres with the goal to validate historic drill holes, the geological model and expand the footprint of the known, gold-bearing lenses.

Drilling is also proposed over the Frikidi area, which returned five grab samples assaying >100 g/t Au, the highest-grade auger sample to date at 8,650 ppb gold** and the site of a km-scale, cross cutting, alteration zone associated with a northwest-trending splay off of the Senegal Mali Shear Zone. Approximately 1,150 metres in 21 holes are proposed over this target area,

A third target area, located just south of the Barani East deposit, has been identified through mapping and recent auger drilling. Numerous gold-in-auger targets to 1,527 ppb gold***, proximal to a km-long tourmaline alteration zone, need to be followed up. In total, 24 holes totaling 1,200 metres are recommended.

The fourth target area lies immediately to the NE of the Barani East Deposit, along the strike extent of the structure that hosts the Barani East Deposit. This area has been an active artisanal mining site with 4, approximately 100 m long open pits previously excavated. The Company’s work in the area has returned up to 2.04 g/t Au over 30 metres****. Follow-up of this intercept and numerous other drill targets are recommended. A total of 41 holes comprising 2,050 metres are proposed.

As part of the Company’s ongoing review of the property, a ‘multispectral satellite and synthetic aperture radar analysis of its 440 km2 SMSZ Project in Western Mali was carried out. The goal of the project was to identify larger scale alteration and/or structural features that would aid in the follow-up prioritization of an expanding list of gold zones that have been identified on the property. This type of review has been successfully carried out over projects in other areas of the world. This work identified additional exploration targets and potential extensions to known target area and with targets still requiring validation by drill testing. More analysis of the data is also required to produce a testable vetted ‘exploration model’

* Desert Gold NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource report filed on March 3, 2022 and available on Sedar+.
** Desert Gold news release March 25, 2019
*** Desert Gold news release October 1, 2019
**** Desert Gold new release February 24, 2020

 31Jan24 fig1
Figure 1. SMSZ Project Location and Major Deposits in Western Mali and Eastern Senegal (* see deposit resources disclosures at end)

31Jan24 fig2
Figure 2. SMSZ Property scale Summary and Zone location plan

31Jan24 fig3Figure 3. Barani East and Barani Gap mineral resource open pits*

31Jan24 fig4
Figure 4. Gourbassi West mineral resource pit* and Gourbassi West North mineral resource target area

This press release contains certain scientific and technical information. The Company is solely responsible for the contents and accuracy of any scientific and technical information related to it. Don Dudek, P.Geo. a director of Desert Gold and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this press release.

On Behalf of the Board

“Jared Scharf”

Jared Scharf
President & CEO

About Desert Gold Ventures Inc.

Desert Gold Ventures Inc. is a gold exploration and development company which controls the 440 km2 SMSZ Project in Western Mali containing Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 8.47 million tonnes grading 1.14 g/t gold totaling 310,300 ounces and Inferred Mineral Resources of 20.7 million tonnes grading 1.16 g/t gold totaling 769,200 ounces.  For further information please visit www.SEDAR.com under the company’s profile. Website: www.desertgold.ca.


Jared Scharf, President and CEO
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. No.: +1 (858) 247-8195

This news release contains forward-looking statements. 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. These uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, the strength of the capital markets, the price of gold; operational, funding, liquidity risks, the degree to which Mineral Resource estimates are reflective of actual Mineral Resources, the degree to which factors which would make a mineral deposit commercially viable, and 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. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein in the United States. The securities described herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States securities act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to the account or benefit of a U.S. person absent an exemption from the registration requirements of such act.

* Figure 1 Disclosure

fig 1 disclosure