Predictive Discovery Ltd (ASX:PDI) and partner Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) will begin a drill-focused exploration program by early November at their joint venture gold projects in Cote D’Ivoire.
Initial work will be aimed at discovering more gold mineralisation on the Ferkessedougou North permit.
Diamond drilling will target extensions to the recently discovered Ouarigue South prospect, which returned 45.3 metres at 3.16 g/t gold from 45.9 metres in June.
The program will also include analysis of infill soil samples previously collected by Toro Gold on the Ferkessedougou North grid as well as geological mapping and re-processing and re-interpretation of airborne geophysics.
Predictive anticipates that additional drill programs aimed at identifying more granite-hosted Ouarigue South-type bodies will follow in early 2020.
Work is also planned on the Boundiali project on which Predictive believes that there is a large untested potential.
Efficient exploration operation
With Resolute operating an efficient exploration operation in Cote D’Ivoire, the planned exploration should result in substantially lower overhead costs for the JV.
Predictive Discovery managing director Paul Roberts said, “Following a period of extensive project review by RSG on the Cote D’Ivoire JV properties after its acquisition of Toro Gold, we are pleased to announce RSG’s decision to commence a drill-focused exploration program by early November 2019 on the JV properties.
“Our new JV partners have strengthened the outlook for the projects bringing a fresh approach to exploration, supporting their objective of adding gold ounces to the Resolute portfolio.”
The Predictive/Resolute JV covers an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres, including the advanced gold projects of Ferkessedougou North and Boundiali.
Predictive Discovery West African projects, properties and interests.
Building on Boundiali
Work expected in the 2019-20 field season will build on a highly encouraging 2018-19 field season with the discovery of Ouarigue at Ferkessedougou North plus further positive drill results at Boundiali.
The 2019 reverse circulation (RC) drill program, totalling 11,427 metres, tested three large zones of gold-in-soil anomalies at Boundiali North and infill drill lines on the Nyangboue prospect at Boundiali South.
New RC results from Boundiali North have identified a third gold mineralised zone, open to the south, beneath part of the BN3 soil anomaly.
These include 17 metres at 1.10 g/t from 45 metres and 11 metres at 1.81 g/t from 95 metres.
Predictive expects that the JV will carry out more drilling on both permits after the drill fire assay results are received and further assessment of past programs on the project areas is completed.
Roberts said: “We eagerly await the commencement of diamond drilling at Ferkesssedougou North and look forward to jointly advancing the Ferkessedougou North and Boundiali projects towards what we believe may be significant gold deposits.”
Maintaining 25% equity
After discussions with Resolute and a review of likely future cash requirements, Predictive plans to maintain equity of around 25% in the JV by making quarterly cash contributions starting next month.
Roberts said: “Following discussions with Toro which commenced in June 2019 and subsequently with RSG and in accordance with the dilution formula in the JV agreement, Predictive’s equity is expected to reduce from 30% to approximately 25%.
“Predictive’s Board believes that a contribution of 25% of JV exploration budgets is optimal for shareholders given that the JV holds two very active projects both of which will require extensive drilling programs and therefore substantially growing expenditures over the next few years.”
A $2-3 million exploration budget for exploration of the JV properties in 2020 will be presented to the Resolute Board of Directors in November 2019.
Shares in Predictive are trading at 1.3 cents while Resolute has been up almost 4% in early trade to $1.65.