Marvel Gold Ltd (ASX:MVL) recently confirmed the success of its transition to gold explorer by delivering an upgraded 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.
Bridge Street Capital Partners sees ample opportunity for MVL to expand its ounce count both at Tabakorole “Main Zone” and within the surrounding tenements.
The following is an extract from Bridge Street’s research note:
As we discussed in our previous note, one of the most recent entrants to West African gold exploration, Marvel Gold, has wasted no time in completing a drill programme at its Tabakorole project and in the preparation of its first mineral resource estimate (MRE). A 900koz-1Moz resource was certainly well above our expectations. (We had thought this might be achievable following the next round of drilling).
Key points from the release, and our thoughts, are as follows.
- Following negotiation of an earn-in to 80% of the South Malian Tabakorole project, MVL has completed some 1,544m of diamond drilling. This was supplemented by over 12,000m of drilling not incorporated by previous operators of the tenement to deliver the new resource.
- MVL’s MRE is quoted at a cut-off grade (COG) of 0.6gpt is 910koz at 1.2gpt and represents a 54% increase in tonnes, 20% increase in grade for a 54% increase in contained gold compared to a previous estimate. At a 0.5gpt COG the resource is 990koz; at 0.4gpt, 1.06Moz.
- The Tabakorole resource has been defined over a 2.9km strike length where it remains open to the SE and NW. Recent air core drilling to the NW has shown the potential for a 600m strike extension to the NW.
- Additional resource potential is also seen at depth where a resource open pit remains constrained by data, not by conceptual economics. Long sections provided in the release highlight the potential for higher grade SW plunging ore shoots.
- The economics of a future mine remains to be seen, but a ca. 1Moz resource at 1-1.5gpt is certainly an encouraging start. MVL describes the deposit as demonstrating “consistently thick zones which indicate the potential for a relatively low strip ratio”. Its not hard to imagine the potential for a 2-3mtpa open pit operation at a grade of perhaps 1.3-1.5gpt based on a modest increase to the current MRE. Assuming simple metallurgical characteristics (discussed below) this could deliver a production rate around 100kozpa.
- We see ample opportunity to expand MVL’s ounce count both at Tabakorole “Main Zone” and within the surrounding tenements. The interpreted structural corridor, likely a splay off the major Bannifin Shear appears to be highly prospective. Resource expansion drilling is scheduled to start within the next 2 months whilst multi-element soil geochemistry and ground magnetics programs are planned over the balance of the 375km2 landholding to delineate further drill targets.
- Completion of the MRE has enabled MVL to secure a 33% equity in the project (from UK-listed Altus Strategies). The next round of drilling will likely take ownership to 51% (2500m required to achieve this target) and likely onto the goal of 80% ownership (with the eventual preparation of a DFS).