Results from drilling have extended the depth and strike along the recently-discovered high-grade eastern lode and support the possibility of an underground mining operation at Bepkong.
A broad assay of 99.5 metres at 2.16 g/t gold from 316 metres was intersected, which included:
3 metres at 11.45 g/t from 316 metres;
2 metres at 15.25 g/t from 322.5 metres;
10 metres at 5.01 g/t from 369 metres, within 15 metres at 3.92 g/t from 365 metres;
3.1 metres at 6.29 g/t from 387.9 metres; and
8.5 metres at 5.82 g/t from 406 metres, including 1 metre at 23.8 g/t from 408 metres.
Other results include: 7 metres at 4.78 g/t from 322 metres, including 1 metre at 21.17 g/t from 322 metres; and 31.5 metres at 1.97 g/t from 371 metres, including 17.5 metres at 2.62 g/t from 385 metres.
Azumah managing director Stephen Stone said the 99.5-metre intersection, 75 metres below the recent and similar ‘discovery hole’ intercept, was another remarkable result from Bepkong.
Stone said: “[It] clearly confirms the discovery of a large, well-developed, south-plunging, consistently mineralised system of unknown depth.
“Importantly, the system contains several thick, high-grade ore shoots that could support declining down from the bottom of the planned open-pit and mining this mineralisation from underground.”
When combined with other recent drilling, the new results imply a substantial volume of mineralised material and contained gold per vertical metre.
Azumah and its joint venture partner Ibaera is accelerating the budgeted drill program, with additional holes designed to provide further definition ahead of a maiden inferred resource estimate.
Stone added: “Subject to a full evaluation, this could completely transform the proposed, plus-100,000-ounce-per-year Wa Gold Project open pit mining operation.
“The Azumah-Ibaera joint venture will now be extending and accelerating the drill program at Bepkong so we can better understand the geometry and extent of the system and to enable us to rapidly move to a maiden resource estimate.
“With an already established 1-million-ounce ore reserve and 2.5-million-ounce mineral resource, shareholders can look forward to a project-defining 2019 as we continue to add value on several fronts.”
Azumah has secured 15-year mining leases from the Ghanain government, as well as strong local endorsement, and is advancing environmental operating permits.
The prospect of underground mining and Wa’s vast tenure provide multiple opportunities to complement the project’s production growth.
The scope of the current feasibility study is based on the mining of a series of relatively shallow open pits.
If underground mining was proven to be viable at any of these, it would add considerable value to the overall project.
The company has progressively grown its resource by exploring its 2,400-square-kilometre licence holdings over large areas of prospective Birimian terrain, the rocks that host most of West Africa’s gold mines.
Azumah plans to continue drilling and growing the Wa resource and is fully funded to a development decision in the September quarter of 2019.