Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) will begin exploration in around a month after the Ministry of Mines in Côte d’lvoire granted a permit for the Korhogo Nord project, which is within 30 kilometres of Barrick Gold Corp’s (NYSE:GOLD) 4.9-million-ounce Tongon Gold Mine.
The new permit covers 185 square kilometres of prospective tenure and an initial exploration program is planned to begin following the wet season in late October or early November.
Mako strategically selected the permit to cover the same greenstone belt that hosts Tongon as well as Montage Gold’ Corps 1.2-million-ounce Kone gold deposit, both in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as Teranga Gold Corp’s (TSE:TGZ) 2.7-million-ounce Wahgnion gold mine across the border in Burkina Faso.
The permit is valid for four years from the date of granting and can be renewed twice for a period of three years each.
Mako managing director Peter Ledwidge said: “We are pleased to have secured a further 185 square kilometres of prospective tenure in Côte d’Ivoire, within the same Birimian greenstone belt as Barrick’s 4.9-million-ounce Tongon Gold Mine.
“To our knowledge, no previous exploration has been conducted on the Korhogo Nord permit, so we are excited to be launching an exploration program on the permit shortly.”
The proximity to Barrick’s Tongon processing and mine infrastructure has the potential to create accretive development and processing synergies should Mako be successful in discovering a gold deposit on the permit.
The company is planning a methodical exploration program which would begin with soil sampling, geological mapping, and rock chip sampling, followed by aircore (AC) or reverse circulation (RC) drilling.
An airborne magnetic and radiometric survey of the permit would likely be flown within the first year.
The soil sampling program is planned after the rainy season which usually ends in late October to early November.
Mako anticipates that the second permit application should be granted shortly.
Location of Mako Gold permits and pending permit application including the newly granted Korhogo Nord permit.
Napié drilling ongoing
Mako’s core focus remains on its flagship Napié Project where drilling results from the ongoing 10,000-metre drilling program are expected in mid to late October.
The IP geophysical survey contract has been signed and is due to start in mid-October on Gogbala prospect ahead of a drilling program.
Additionally, a second drill rig has been secured from Geodrill and will commence drilling in November on high-priority regional prospects at Napié, including Gogbala, Tchaga East and Tchaga North.
Ledwidge said “We are also pleased to be expanding our current program through securing a second drill rig to expedite drilling at a number of highly prospective regional targets surrounding the Tchaga prospect at the Napié Project.
“Two of the key prospects have not been drilled since 2018.
“We look forward to following up positive drilling results from 2018 and now that we are fully funded, we can proceed to drill these exciting targets.”