Marvel Gold Ltd (ASX:MVL) is making steady progress in its repositioning as a Mali-focused gold explorer after working hard to assemble an attractive exploration portfolio during the 2020 financial year.
In its annual report, managing director Phil Hoskins highlighted that the company was leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit to make a success of exploration efforts in Mali.
“Opportunity for meaningful discovery”
He said: “We believe that the portfolio of projects we have acquired in recent months gives us a real opportunity to make a meaningful discovery in what is a premium location for large-scale gold deposits.”
Earlier this year, Marvel acquired an interest in a joint venture with Altus Strategies Plc to earn-in to two Mali gold exploration projects, Tabakorole and Lakanfla, and completed a $5 million capital raising comprised of a share placement and entitlement offer.
In August, in a transaction with ASX-listed Oklo Resources Ltd (ASX:OKU) Marvel acquired an 80% interest in three South Mali gold projects, covering a total of 675 square kilometres of highly prospective Birimian greenstone terrain.
Not long after this acquisition, the company signed an exclusive option to acquire the Sakaar exploration licence that is strategically located 15 kilometres south of Lakanfla.
Board changes strengthen gold focus
Hoskins said: “In order to strengthen the company’s west African gold exploration expertise, Andrew Pardey and Chris van Wijk joined the board.
“Andrew has over 30 years in the resources industry and between February 2015 and December 2019, he was chief executive officer of Centamin PLC which holds the Tier 1 Sukari Gold Mine.
“Chris is an experienced geologist, who specialises in project evaluation and project generation, with extensive experience in base metal and gold exploration in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia.
“Daniel Saint Don has stepped down as a director and we thank him for his contribution.”
Switch from graphite
The company has changed to the gold sector, which is experiencing strong interest due to positive market fundamentals, including high prices, after a financing arrangement for the Chilalo Graphite Project in southeast Tanzania fell through.
In the annual report, Hoskins said: "Owing to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent market fallout which resulted in a sharp decline in the company’s market capitalisation, the financier elected not to proceed with financing for the development of the Chilalo Project.
"The financier’s decision was reached prior to the completion of its due diligence and is therefore not a negative reflection on the quality of the Chilalo Project, the Tanzanian investment climate for mining projects or the coarse flake graphite market opportunity."
A definitive feasibility study (DFS) delivered in January, confirmed Chilalo as a robust project that would generate strong margins and cash flow, based on a probable reserve of 9.2 million tonnes, underpinning an estimated 18-year mine life and producing around 50,000 tonnes per annum of high-value graphite products.