Blackthorn Resources Mumbwa

Blackthorn Resources reports three drills are currently turning at the Mumbwa joint-venture project site in west-central Zambia, where BHP Billiton (40%) is the managing partner. The joint-venture is exploring the area for iron oxide-copper-gold style mineralization similar to existing deposits at Olympic Dam, Ernest Henry, and Prominent Hill in Australia. Twelve drill targets will be tested along the north-south trending Mushingashi-Mutoya density anomaly, which has a 19-km strike length. It is planned to drill the holes while also conducting a geophysical IP survey over several lines across the planned drill sites to review the effectiveness of this type of survey and ensure that site selection is optimal.

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June Briefs

Goldcorp reported in early May 2010 that Goldcorp subsidiaries had entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Escobal silver deposit in Guatemala to Tahoe Resources Inc., a private company headed by former Goldcorp president and CEO Kevin McArthur. Under the terms of the agreement, Goldcorp will receive total consideration of $505 million, consisting of Tahoe shares representing a 40% ownership position in Tahoe following Tahoe’s proposed initial public offering of common shares in Canada and the balance in cash of at least $230 million, depending on the final results of the offering.

The Escobal discovery is located in southern Guatemala, approximately 120 km east of Goldcorp’s Marlin mine and 70 km west of its Cerro Blanco development project. Following an initial discovery of high-grade silver in mid-2007, 47,300 m of diamond drilling in 180 holes has outlined a high-grade silver deposit that as of December 31, 2009, had an indicated resource of 130.1 million oz and an additional inferred resource of 187.5 million oz. Grades average 580 g/mt silver for the indicated resource and 443 g/mt silver for the inferred resource.

Aurizon Mines and Typhoon Exploration have formed an exploration joint venture to develop Typhoon’s Fayolle project 10 km north of Aurizon’s Joanna project in Quebec, Canada. Typhoon has spent approximately $10 million advancing the project since 2003. The mineralized zones on the Fayolle deposit are distributed along a major shear corridor approximately 2.5 km long by 1 km wide that is marked by intensive carbonate alteration and local gold enrichment associated with finely disseminated pyrite. The grade is highly variable inside the favorable corridor, ranging from 0.1-g/mt anomalies to concentrations of up to 100 g/mt in individual drilling samples. Down dip, the mineralization remains open at depth.

Aurizon can earn a 50% interest in the Fayolle project, subject to an underlying 2% net smelter royalty, by incurring expenditures of $10 million over four years, of which $3.5 million is a firm commitment to be spent within two years. Aurizon can earn an additional interest of 15%, for a total interest of 65%, by either delivering a feasibility study or spending an additional $15 million on the project.
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Bendigo Mining, which produces gold at its Henty and Kangaroo Flat mines in Australia, is investing A$3.5 million to acquire a 20% shareholding in GoldStone Resources, a West African gold exploration company. In a May 7, 2010, press release, Bendigo said, “The business fit between the two companies is strong as GoldStone wishes to remain an African gold explorer and does not seek to become an operator, whereas Bendigo’s goal is to gain access to new discoveries and production opportunities in West Africa.”

GoldStone’s key asset is the Homase project in the Ashanti gold belt in Ghana, where GoldStone may earn up to an 85% interest. The project has a 282,608-oz gold resource, estimated in accordance with JORC guidelines, beneath and along strike from the Homase main pit. The now-abandoned pit was mined by AngloGold Ashanti in 2002 and 2003.

Other GoldStone assets include the Manso Amenfi license in Ghana, which GoldStone believes is prospective as it lies along a trend of intense artisanal gold mining and in a similar belt of rocks to Perseus’s Ayanfuri gold deposit, located some 50 km to the northeast. The company also has a 471-km² exploration license in Senegal near the border with Guinea. The ground is to the south of Randgold’s license containing the 3.4-million-oz Masawa discovery and along trend from the Sabodala, Yatela and Sadiola gold mines.
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Soltoro Ltd. has reported an indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate for the Las Bolas mineral deposit on its 100%-owned El Rayo silver-gold project in Jalisco, Mexico. At a cut-off grade of 40 g/mt silver, the indicated resource is 9.5 million mt at an average grade of 76.3 g/mt silver, containing approximately 23.2 million oz of silver, and the inferred resource is 1.8 million mt at an average grade of 68.9 g/mt silver, containing approximately 4.1 million oz of silver. The mineral resource estimate is NI 43-101 compliant and is based on a total of 12 diamond drill core holes and 72 reverse circulation holes.

The Las Bolas deposit consists of a northeast trending, 40° northwest dipping body that is approximately 40 m thick and that extends down dip from surface to more than 200 m below the surface and 800 m along strike. A 15,000-m reverse circulation drill program is continuing in order to expand the oxide silver and oxide gold resources around historical mine areas.

May Briefs

Aquila Resources has reported an initial JORC-compliant estimated inferred re-
source of 21.9 million mt grading 63.2% iron for the Meletse iron ore project in Limpopo province of South Africa. Aquila holds a 74% interest in the project. Its South African partner holds 26%. The project is located 30 km east of the town of Thabazimbi and 230 km north of Johannesburg, in a traditional mining area where Kumba Iron Ore has been operating for many years.

An extensive reverse circulation drilling program on the Meletse deposit evaluated six lenses of high-grade hematite suitable for open-pit mining of direct shipping ore. Aquila anticipates 60% this resource can be produced as high-grade lump ore. Aquila will now undertake studies to consider development of a 2-million- to 3-million-mt/y open-pit operation to supply high-grade lumpy and fine iron ore to a rail head near Thabazimbi.

Aquila is also evaluating several other targets in the Thabazimbi area, where the company holds some 585 km2 of prospecting rights. (

Grayd Resource Corp. reported in mid-April it is increasing its first-half 2010 drilling program at its La India gold project in Sonora, Mexico, to 15,000 m from an initially planned 6,000 m. The decision to expand the drill program resulted from successful exploration outside the current resource zones on project’s 260-km2 land package. The company is encouraged by near-surface gold mineralization that has been intersected on the La India zone discovery located between the project’s Main and North zone resources and by large zones of intense alteration and anomalous gold within intrusive rocks underlying this higher-grade mineralization, which indicate a large mineralizing system.

Consequently, a number of additional drill holes are planned over the 800 x 600-m target area. At the Tubos target, 2 km east of the Main zone resource, Grayd is completing the first holes in a 1.2 x 1-km area that has similar geology to the Main zone area and that has produced a number of 0.3-g/mt to 1.6-g/mt gold surface samples. A third target, Tarachi located 6 km north of the North Zone resource, will also be drilled. (

Azumah Resources has announced a 45% boost in resources at its 100%-owned Wa gold project in northwest Ghana to more than 1.1 million oz of contained gold, based on inclusion of an initial 350,100-oz mineral resource estimate for the project’s Julie prospect. The Julie prospect has been estimated to a vertical depth of only 80 m and remains open in all directions.

Azumah is developing a feasibility study for the Wa project that assumes initial production of 1 million mt/y of ore and 70,000 oz/y of gold, but with potential to grow to more than 100,000 oz/y of gold. Consultants are on site conducting surveys for the scoping phase of the environmental and social impact study. Construction is provisionally scheduled for completion in late 2011. (

Mariana Resources and Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration signed a letter of intent (LoI) to form an exploration joint venture to focus on Mariana properties in Chile and Argentina. The 92,000-km2 SCM Mariana area in north-central Chile includes the prospective Buenaventura and Perro Chico iron oxide-copper-gold (IOGC) projects located on the Atacama fault zone. These projects will be the initial focus of the joint venture.

Under the terms of the LoI, Cliffs may acquire a 51% interest in Soc. Contractual Minera Mariana (SCM Mariana), a Mariana subsidiary to be formed expressly for the joint venture, by funding a $2-million exploration program and an additional 19% by spending a further $1 million. Additionally, SCM Mariana will explore for IOCG targets in a 900-km-long zone that extends from latitude 22º S (Tocopilla) to 30º S (La Serena).

Cortona Resources has reported further drilling results from its 100%-owned Dargues Reef gold project in New South Wales, Australia that highlight the discovery of a bonanza lode that remains open along strike and at depth. Drill intersections in one hole include 5.7 m grading 97.1 g/mt gold, including 3.8 m grading 143.6 g/mt; 2.8 m grading 39.1 g/mt; and 5.5 m grading 14.4 g/mt. This exceptionally high-grade zone has the potential to increase the project’s indicated and inferred JORC resource, which currently stands at 1.44 million mt grading 6.2 g/mt and containing 286,000 oz of gold.

Cortona has five drill rigs on site at Dargues Reef. Approximately 30 holes were completed as part of its Phase 1 exploration drilling program, and Phase 2 drilling is under way, targeting depth extensions to the current resource and scheduled for completion by mid-June 2010.

Metallurgical test work for Dargues Reef is nearing completion, and Cortona is finalizing a process design flow sheet that calls for delivery of about 50% of the gold to a gravity circuit and about 48% to a sulphide concentrate.

April Briefs

Golden Star Resources reported a new discovery along the Ashanti Trend on its Prestea concession in Ghana.

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