Desert Sun Mining (DSM-T) has 10 surface drill rigs and 4 underground drills testing targets in the Bahia gold belt of eastern Brazil.
Targets are being tested at Joao Belo Norte, Joao Belo Sul, Basal Reef-Cuscuz, Morro do Vento and Canavieiras. The property covers a 155-km strike length over Jacobina Group sedimentary rocks and consists of 60 sq. km covered by a mining lease and 975 sq. km of exploration concessions. Gold is associated with reefs and with quartz veins in altered quartzites and quartz-pebble conglomerates.
The Joao Belo Norte area includes the Joao Belo mine with a measured and indicated resource of 9.1 million tonnes grading 2.34 grams gold per tonne (in August 2003). The Joao Belo underground workings extend 500 metres below the surface. One hole intersected the main “LMPC reef” about 365 metres below the 605 level, which is the lowest level reached by the ramp. This resulted in a 19.9-metre (true width) intersection of 2.12 grams gold per tonne, which included 2.7 grams gold over a true width of 11.7 metres.
Drill holes have tested a 700-metre strike length at the Joao Belo Sul target, 3 km south of the Joao Belo mine. Results from seven holes drilled at Joao Belo Sul in March and April include 2.84 grams gold per tonne over 0.7 metre, 2.08 grams gold over a true width of 4.2 metres, and 2.69 grams gold over a true width of 4.6 metres. Other intersections ranged from 0.49 to 2.7 grams gold over 0.4-32 metres. One hole contained no significant mineralization.
The past-producing Canavieiras mine is 6 km north of the Joao Belo mine and 3 km north of the processing plant. The total measured and indicated mineral resource last summer was 659,000 tonnes grading 5.88 grams gold.
Five underground holes at the Canavieiras mine resulted in assays as high as 8.47 grams gold over a core length of 13 metres (or 8.07 grams gold per tonne with high assays cut to 30 grams per tonne and a true width of 5-10 metres). Other highlights include 2.17 grams gold over a 15.8-metre true width and 3.32 grams over a true width of 6.9 metres.
In the four months ended March 31, Desert Sun spent $1.8 million exploring and developing the Jacobina property; of that amount, $1.4 million was spent on drilling. On March 31, the company had cash and equivalents totalling $29.4 million and no debt.