Marvel Gold Ltd (ASX:MVL) has confirmed the success of its transition to gold explorer by delivering an upgraded mineral resource for the Tabakorole Gold Project in Mali, West Africa, with 910,000 ounces grading 1.2 g/t.
The new JORC-compliant mineral resource represents a 54% increase in ounces and a 20% increase in grade from the NI 43-101-compliant 2007 resource estimate with a total combined resource of 23.9 million tonnes.
Around 32% of the resource is classified as indicated, while 43% sits within 100 metres of surface, thus increasing the confidence for an open-pittable production scenario.
“Exceeded our expectations”
Marvel managing director Phil Hoskins said: “This is a significant improvement in the mineral resource for Tabakorole.
“A 54% increase in ounces combined with a 20% improvement in grade is an excellent outcome that has exceeded our own expectations.
“From the outset, we firmly believed that a revised approach to resource modelling, together with the incorporation of results of both our recent drilling and historic drilling, presented an opportunity to grow the Tabakorole mineral resource. “
“To have delivered the maiden JORC resource of almost one million ounces of gold is an exceptional result that has validated our approach and confirmed the opportunity at Tabakorole.”
Shares today have been as much as 9% higher to 6.3 cents.
Since acquiring the project Marvel has completed 1,544 metres of diamond drilling which, in combination with the 2010-2014 drilling, has been included in the updated resource estimate.
The estimate has been prepared by a leading consultant with much experience in resource estimation at West African gold projects.
This was done using multiple indicator kriging (MIK) incorporating a change of support analysis – a method which factors in mining dilution and can be considered a 'recoverable resources' estimate.
Opportunities for resource growth
The company believes there are numerous opportunities for growing Tabakorole resource estimates.
Recent aircore drilling has confirmed that gold mineralisation continues at least 600 metres along strike to the northwest with results up to 6 metres at 6.2 g/t gold.
Hoskins said: “We have known mineralised strike extensions to follow-up whilst the deposit remains open at depth.
“Combined with recent transactions that have increased our landholding at Tabakorole to 375 square kilometres and the demonstrated regional prospectivity, we are confident that further resource growth can be achieved.”
The deposit remains open along strike to the southeast as well as at depth, including several areas throughout the existing resource constrained by lack of drilling.
This zone’s consistency and predictability provide confidence of a very high conversion of ounces from the inferred category into indicated when infill drilling is conducted.
Marvel plans to start resource expansion drilling during the December quarter to test some of the opportunities.
Hoskins said: “We look forward to starting Stage Two drilling in the December quarter.”
Advance regional exploration
Following the increase in the Tabakorole landholding, the company intends to advance regional exploration targets where little to no exploration has been previously conducted.
During October, the company will detail its exploration plans for the upcoming field season including obtaining multi-element soil geochemistry and ground magnetics as baseline datasets for regional exploration ahead of further drilling.
It will maintain an exploration focus at Tabakorole and defer infill drilling and economic studies until the scale of the resource is better known.
Marvel will also undertake preliminary metallurgical test-work consisting of cyanide bottle rolls to establish the applicability of conventional cyanide extraction of gold.
The results of this work are expected in the December quarter.
Tabakorole is subject to a joint venture with UK and TSX-listed Altus Strategies PLC (CVE:ALTS) (LON:ALS), with Marvel earning up to an 80% interest in the project in Mali’s south by sole funding expenditure through to completion of a definitive feasibility study.