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Orezone Gold drilling results indicate "significant expansion" at Bomboré Gold Project

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Orezone Gold (TSE:ORE) has announced additional positive drill results from its ongoing 170,000 metre infill and expansion drill program at its Bomboré Gold Project in Burkina Faso, Africa.

Results include 142 reverse circulation (RC) holes (8,518 metre) and 67 diamond drill (DD) holes (9,249 metres) from the southern and northern portions of the 11-km long Bomboré resource. 

The results from the near surface oxide zone, both within and outside the pit shells that constrain the 2010 resource, continue to be positive and indicate that a significant expansion and upgrade of the oxide resources can be expected.

“Based on the 2011 drill results received to date, Orezone is expecting a significant expansion and upgrade in oxide resources and potentially lower strip ratios,”said Orezone CEO Ron Little,  for . “These improvements, combined with a two-phase project build, could result in an improvement to the project economics demonstrated in the 2011 PEA.”

Oxide drill results located within the 2010 pit shells continue to maintain an average cut grade of 1.1 grams per tonne(g/t) while the oxide zone extensions discovered outside of the pit shells average a cut grade of 0.9 g/t. 

Orezone said that early indications from core drilling are that, mineralization continues beneath the oxide resources into the sulphides over approximately half of the strike length tested. 

The best sulphide results outside of the 2010 pit shells are from the Maga, Siga South and Siga West zones. Compared to the 2010 model (1.2 g/t), the sulphide results indicate a slightly lower average cut grade of 1.1 g/t within the pit shells and 1.0 g/t outside of the pit shells. 

Approximately 75 percent of the RC results and 50 percent of the core results have been received to date, with the sulphide results mostly from the southern half of the deposit and where resources were predominantly in the Inferred category. 

The remaining 50 percent of the sulphide results are to come primarily from the northern half of the deposit (mostly Indicated resources) where grades and continuity were more robust than the southern half in the 2010 resource model.  

Approximately 40 percent of the mineralized intervals reported from the ongoing program are from outside of the 2010 resource pit shells where the model projections of the grades and widths of the mineralization were limited or non-existent, Orezone said.

With five core drill rigs in operation and one RC rig to restart after several weeks of repairs, the program is on track to complete a minimum of 70,000 metres of DD and 80,000 metres of RC drilling by year-end. 

Drilling and analytical results will continue through 2012 with a full resource update planned for release in the second quarter and a Definitive Feasibility Study in the fourth quarter. 

With the significant backlog of samples in the laboratories (currently 32,000 samples) and small delays in drilling, a delay of one quarter in the project timeline from previous estimates is expected.

The June 2011 positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) using $1000 pit shells and $1100 gold confirmed the project could be developed as a heap leach (oxide material only) or a standard carbon in leach (CIL) operation (oxide and sulphide material). 

A detailed metallurgical study is now underway to confirm the potential of building a CIL operation in two phases.

Phase 1, an oxide-only plant, is envisioned to produce more than 150,000 oz/year with recoveries over 90 percent, with lower capital costs, lower mining and processing costs and lower strip ratios than what was outlined in the PEA. 

A Phase 2 plant expansion to process the sulphide ores could be funded from the project cash flows and further increase gold production. 

Bomboré is one of the largest gold deposits in the country and is situated 85 km east of the capital city, adjacent to an international highway. Resources are constrained within optimized open pit shells that span 11 km, and include 1.6 million ounces Indicated and 1.9 million ounces inferred resources with an average drill depth of only 60 meters.

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