Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) (OTCQX:EDVMF) is pleased to provide an update of its on-going exploration campaign at both its Houndé and Karma mines in Burkina Faso, ahead of its investor day and site visits.
At the Houndé mine, following two years of inactivity, exploration resumed in early 2017 and has confirmed the presence of significant potential with a high-grade discovery in the eastern part of the 6km-long Kari geochemical anomaly, while high grade mineralization was also intercepted on several other targets.
At the Karma mine, drilling has confirmed mineralization at the Yabongso target and has discovered a parallel oxide structure east of the North Kao deposit, both of which are expected to be delineated into resources in Q1-2018 and add further potential to extend its mine life.
Sebastien de Montessus, President & CEO, stated: “Last year we highlighted the Group’s exploration potential as being a key source of long-term value creation for our shareholders and we launched a reinvigorated exploration program with 5-year discovery targets. Over the past year we have already enjoyed significant success at our Ivorian Ity mine, which was a key priority ahead of launching its CIL project. We are now pleased to share the results of our 2017 Burkina Faso exploration program as it provides further confidence in the discovery targets set last year and our ability to extend and enhance our mine lives.
Over the past two years we have made significant investments to increase our presence in Burkina Faso as we believe it is an exciting under-explored mining jurisdiction where we have demonstrated our ability to efficiently build and operate mines. As one of the largest producers in the country, we now look forward to continuing to expand our footprint by leveraging our greenfield exploration potential.”
Patrick Bouisset, Executive President Exploration and Growth stated: “At Houndé, the high-grade drill results obtained at Kari Pump and at the other targets are very encouraging since they are in line with our objective of discovering and delineating higher-grade deposits which can complement production from the main Vindaloo deposit and extend its current 10-year reserve mine life at low AISC with a production profile of more than 200koz of gold per annum.”
“We are very pleased with the exploration success achieved at Karma since we acquired the asset in mid-2016. Last year we successfully extended its mine life from 8 to beyond 10 years with the addition of North Kao, and the initial results of this year’s campaign continue to be very encouraging as they suggest the possibility for further resource delineation. After confirming mineralization at the Yabongso target, we intend to also drill other selected high priority targets throughout 2018,” added Mr. Bouisset.
HOUNDÉ EXPLORATION UPDATE
Following two years of inactivity at Houndé, exploration resumed in early 2017 with an initial reconnaissance drilling campaign aiming to test and prioritizing various targets identified during the 2016 exploration strategic review. This campaign validated Hounde’s significant exploration potential as high-grade mineralization was intercepted at the Kari, Sia/Sianikoui, Bouere extension, and Bombi targets. Drilling efforts were then prioritized on the large Kari target due to its excellent initial results and its potentially significant size. The Kari target is a very large gold-in-soil geochemical anomaly that covers a 6km-long by 2.5km-wide area, located only 9km west of the processing plant and in proximity to an existing haul road that will be used to transport Bouéré ore to the mine.
Given the size of the Kari target, efforts were mainly focused in its eastern part, in an area named Kari Pump which only covers 25% of this large gold-in-soil anomaly. The structure was successfully drilled over 1km along strike and across a width of over 200m at a reconnaissance grid of 200m by 50m. Preliminary drill results confirmed high-grade mineralization with notable intercepts including 43.39 g/t Au over 6.2 meters, 8.75 g/t Au over 12.2 meters and 4.81 g/t Au over 9.0 meters, and mineralization remains open along strike and at depth. A follow-up drilling campaign has been planned on both the Kari Pump area (infill and extension drilling) and on the remaining 75% unexplored area, with a maiden resource expected in H2-2018.
A $4 million Houndé exploration campaign was budgeted for 2017, with a total of 777 holes and 66,100 meters drilled to date on the various targets, comprising 664 reconnaissance Air Core/Reverse Circulation holes totaling 51,400 meters, 71 RC holes totaling 7,900 meters and 42 Diamond Drilling holes totaling 6,800 meters. Most of the drilling has been focused on the aforementioned Kari Pump area with a total of 337 AC/RC holes totaling 30,460 meters, 23 RC holes totaling of 3,400 meters and few DD holes. Prior to this drilling campaign, the Kari area had been subject to 16,000 meters (AC, DD, RC and RAB) of sporadic drilling from previous operators (between 1997 to 2014).
The 2017 exploration campaign has been based on the target identification work performed in 2016 based on gold-in-soil geochemical anomalies, historical drill results and a detailed IP survey covering 389 km. As shown in Figures 1 and 2 below, the Kari/Kari Pump gold-in-soil geochemical anomaly is the largest target and covers an area 6 km long by 2.5 km wide. As previously mentioned, only 25% of the total Kari anomaly was tested in an area named Kari Pump, while the remaining unexplored area is planned to be drilled in 2018.
The Figure 3 shows the drilled Kari Pump area and some selected assay results from drill holes overlying the chargeability anomaly including:
True width (uncapped)
Apparent width (uncapped)
As seen in Figure 4, the Kari area is underlain by Lower Birimian formations. The later has been affected by polyphase deformations (D1 to D3) that resulted into folding, refolding, shearing, transpositions and thrusting.
The Kari Pump area is underlain by volcano-sediment, andesite flows and breccias that appear to be intruded by some diorite sills. Our preliminary interpretation of the gold mineralization at Kari Pump shows that it occurs within in a late mylonite (D3) associated with a northwest-trending thrust fault that dips 12-20 degrees to the northeast. Observed alteration consists of pervasive creamy sericite, intermittent rhodochrosite, chlorite seams and pyritized quartz/carbonate veining. A thick laterite/saprolite (50m to 85m) blankets the mineralized zone area.
The Section 7400 E, shown in Figure 5, illustrates that the mineralization has flat-lying geometry, along with the present strike extension. Since exploration in this area is just starting, the geological model is still under review and will require additional structural studies to better understand the various phase of mineralization. The gold zone is open to the northwest.
OTHER HOUNDÉ TARGETS TESTED
In addition to the Kari Pump exploration efforts, a short drilling campaign was also carried out on the high-grade Sia/Sianikoui and Bombi targets to calibrate the geology and test different gold-in-soil and/or geophysics anomalies, in addition to infill/extension drilling on the Bouere deposit.
The selected best intercepts obtained to date from the Sia/Sianikoui targets include (apparent thickness):
The selected best intercepts obtained to date from the Bombi target include (true width):
HOUNDÉ EXPLORATION NEXT STEPS
KARMA EXPLORATION UPDATE
An exploration program consisting of 1,355 meters of DD and 40,165 meters of reverse-circulation RC was conducted at Karma. Efforts were mainly focused on the Yabonsgo target and on the west extension of the North Kao deposit. In addition, drilling was performed on the Goulagou corridor (area between GG1 and GG2) and on the Rambo West target, as shown in Figure 6.
Drilling confirmed a 600m-long mineralized area at Yabonsgo, with selected best intercepts including 8.1m at 15.8 g/t Au, 6.3m at 11.0 g/t Au and 9.9m at 6.67 g/t Au, related to a system of stacked flat dipping quartz veins centered on a porphyritic granodiorite intrusive.
At North Kao, a new parallel mineralized structure has been discovered to the east of the known zones within the quartz monzodioritic intrusion, with selected best intercepts including 33.2m at 4.13 g/t Au and 22.8m at 4.18 g/t Au.
As shown in Figure 6, the Yabonsgo target is located 14 kilometers northwest of the heap leach area, within the Sinoufoussé shear corridor, a NE-SW splay of the Ouahigouya Shear Zone, which is one of the two major North-South structures crossing Burkina Faso.
The mineralization is centered on a porphyritic granodiorite intrusive located along the contact between a mafic volcaniclastic unit to the southeast and a sediment unit to the northwest. These units are affected by various degrees of shearing with kinematic indicators suggesting a northwest-directed thrusting component. The gold mineralization is associated with a set of sub-horizontal to shallow southeast-dipping tension quartz veins of one decimeter up to one meter thickness within and in the surroundings of the granodiorite.
Visible gold is present together with trace sulfide (pyrite) and calcite in the veins or in the immediate host rock. Pervasive alteration of the granodiorite is marked by disseminated pyrite, with only slightly anomalous gold values.
As illustrated in Figure 7 below, the 2017 exploration program on the Yabonsgo target was designed to achieve two goals:
The drill results returned numerous narrow high grade intercepts, with the selected best including:
The reconnaissance RC drilling program targeted an area of minor artisanal mining and resistivity/chargeability axes include some narrow high grade intercepts to the northeast and southwest of the RC/DD drilling area, notably 0.9m at 582 g/t Au in hole YAB17AC-070, as well as a consistent mineralized body centered on a granodiorite dyke in the Naou area to the west of Yabonsgo, as shown in Figure 7 above.
A typical section is shown in Figure 8. The drill results defined a 600-meter long mineralized area composed of high grade quartz veins. A few individual flat veins can also be followed for up to 150 meters, whereas others can be considered as vein packages. Preliminary column leach testing on one oxide and one sulfide samples indicate a slow recovery for the sulphide via the heap leach process, although bottle roll tests show very good recovery. Further metallurgical testing is planned.
The North Kao deposit, located 9 kilometers southeast of the heap leach area, is hosted within a 2.5-kilometer-long by 1.6-kilometer-wide intrusion of quartz monzodiorite composition, which also hosts the Kao deposit. The mineralization is associated with a network of NNW-trending, shallow and moderately ENE-dipping deformation and alteration zones with pyrite and arsenopyrite in association with multiple veinlet generations including locally thick quartz-albite-carbonate fault-fill veins.
After the successful 2016 drilling program, the 2017 drilling campaign which consisted of 156 RC holes totaling 11,640 meters drilled was designed to test the northern extension of the main mineralized corridor within sediments and potential parallel structures within the intrusion. As shown in Figure 9 below, the holes were drilled toward the WSW with a final line spacing of 50 meters and 50 meters or 35 meters between holes. All holes were stopped at the bedrock limit.
The best results came from the northeastern part of the intrusion where a new NNW-trending mineralized corridor was defined. Best selected intercepts include:
An updated North Kao resource estimate is expected in Q1-2018 and a short follow-up drilling program is being contemplated to better define and further extend the oxide resource.
The scientific and technical content of this news release has been reviewed, verified and compiled by Gérard de Hert, EurGeol, Senior VP West Africa Exploration for Endeavour Mining. Gérard de Hert has more than 19 years of mineral exploration and mining experience, and is a “Qualified Person” as defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).
ASSAYS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL / DRILLING AND ASSAY PROCEDURES
For Hounde, the Kari drill samples were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Half drill core (NQ) and 3-5 Kg Reverse Circulation percussion hammer chip samples were sent to SGS Burkina Faso SA (Ouagadougou) and ALS-Chemex Burkina SARL (Ouagadougou) for gold analysis. Samples were prepared using standard crushing, pulverization and sample reduction (splitting) procedures. The prepared samples were analyzed using a standard 50-gram gold Fire Assay with an Atomic Absorption finish. Assay data was monitored through a quality assurance/quality control program designed to follow NI 43-101 and industry best practice.
For Karma, all drilling was realized by Forage Technic-Eau. The holes with “AC” in the title were shallow RC drilling at AC rate, in which downhole surveys were not systematically taken to measure the deviation. The drill samples were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. One meter RC chip samples and 0.5 to 1.5m drill core (HQ and NQ) intervals have been sent to ALS Laboratory in Ouagadougou for sample preparation and 50-gram gold fire assay with an Atomic Absorption finish. A gravimetric finish was used for assays above 10g/t. Sampling and assay data were monitored through a quality assurance/quality control program designed to follow NI 43-101 and industry best practice.
ABOUT ENDEAVOUR MINING CORPORATION
Endeavour Mining is a TSX listed intermediate African gold producer with a solid track record of operational excellence, project development and exploration in the highly prospective Birimian greenstone belt in West Africa. Endeavour is focused on offering both near-term and long-term growth opportunities with its project pipeline and its exploration strategy, while generating immediate cash flow from its operations.
Endeavour operates five 6 mines across Côte d’Ivoire (Agbaou and Ity), Burkina Faso (Houndé, Karma), Mali (Tabakoto), and Ghana (Nzema) which are expected to produce 630-675koz of gold at an AISC of US$850-895/oz in 2017. Endeavour’s high quality development projects (recently commissioned Houndé, Ity CIL and Kalana) have the combined potential to deliver an additional 600koz per year at an AISC well below $700/oz between 2018 and 2020. In addition, its exploration program aims to discover 10-15Moz of gold by 2021 which represents more than twice the reserve depletion during the period.
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