Starting at a depth of 6 metres, Roxgold (ROG-V) drilled 20 metres of 28.61 grams gold per tonne at the Bagassi Central target of its Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso. Further downhole, starting at 38 metres, a separate 11-metre intersection graded 4.88 grams gold.
The hole was collared 80 metres to the northwest of Roxgold’s initial discovery hole drilled earlier this year at the Yaramoko property, which adjoins the southern boundary of Semafo‘s (SMF-T) 180,000-oz.-per-year Mana gold mine.
Vancouver-based Roxgold is earning a 60% interest in the 223-sq.-km property from fellow Burkina Faso explorer Riverstone Resources (RVS-V). Under the option terms, Roxgold is obligated to spend $1.5 million on exploration at Yaramoko over three years, as well as issue 360,000 shares and make payments totaling $100,000.
The initial discovery in February of 6 metres grading 24.62 grams gold at Bagassi Central helped push Roxgold’s stock up to 45¢ from 23¢, while the results released on April 8 sent the stock up 49¢ to 85¢ on heavy volume of 13.5 million shares.
The recent assays include the last 19 of 33 reverse-circulation holes drilled this year at Yaramoko for a total of 2,723 metres. Of the 33 holes, seven were drilled on the Bagassi Central zone, nine on Bagassi North and 17 on Bagassi South.
At Bagassi South, drilling intersected lower-grade gold mineralization of which the best result was 62 metres grading 0.62 gram gold, including a 16-metre section of 1 gram gold. Drilling at Bagassi North returned similar results, including 8 metres of 0.61 gram gold.
As for the Central zone, only two holes out of seven intersected significant mineralization, while three found “weakly anomalous mineralization” and two had no significant intercepts (the company says they were lost prior to target depth).
Roxgold encountered the second high-grade drill hole in intensely silicified and pyritized intrusive rocks, with step-out drilling 350 metres to 650 metres from the initial discovery hole finding weakly anomalous mineralization.
“Intersections of this grade are rare and can build ounces within the deposit very quickly,” remarked Roxgold’s president and CEO Robert Sibthorpe in a prepared statement. “While we realize there is still a lot of work yet to be done at Yaramoko to understand the full geological significance of the discovery, we are very excited by the progress to date and are very anxious to continue our work on the property.”
The joint-venture partners expect to begin a rotary air blast drill program shortly to better define Bagassi Central’s large gold-in-soil anomaly, as a large group of artisanal miners have started small-scale mining in the area, making a regular soil sampling program difficult.
Riverstone, the current operator, says it hopes to begin a diamond drill program there in the “coming months, pending drill rig availability.”
Roxgold director Al Fabbro told The Northern Miner in a telephone interview that the artisanal miners are currently exploiting the lower-grade gold zone encountered in the second discovery hole (11 metres grading 4.88 grams gold), at a depth of around 40 metres. They have not started mining the higher-grade zone closer to surface, however.
Asked if the company has imminent plans to remove the artisanal miners from the property, Fabbro replied, “We have no plans to get them off there… it is their country and they do some good work for us, they help us. They’re pretty good little prospectors, and if they destroy our mine in 20 metres, then we’re probably not in the right spot anyways.”
A private company co-founded by Sibthorpe and Fabbro optioned the property from Riverstone last year and sold it to Roxgold for 5.62 million shares and management positions in the company. Sibthorpe, a geologist and former Yorkton Securities analyst, received 750,000 of the shares, while Fabbro, a former Canaccord Capital broker, received 650,000 shares.
Two other shareholders of the private company, Richard Mazur and Chet Idziszek, became Roxgold directors last November.
Idziszek, the 1990 co-winner of The Northern Miner‘s Mining Man of the Year award and 1994 winner of the PDAC’s Prospector of the Year award for his role in the discovery of the Eskay Creek gold deposit in British Columbia, is the only one of the bunch to take any profits so far. According to insider trading reports, he sold 100,000 of his 500,000 shares around 46¢ on the day Roxgold released its first set of Yaramoko drill results in late February.