Managing director Phil Hoskins said: “It was pleasing to finish the year with further drilling underway at Tabakorole, Lakanfla assay results pending and finalising the binding documentation that significantly increases our landholdings in Mali to 752 square kilometres.
“Multi-element soil geochemistry and high-resolution ground magnetics are underway at our exploration projects with a regional focus around Tabakorole given its potential to host the strike extension and generate new drill targets which we look forward to following up throughout 2021.
“Finally, we are pleased to be developing our engagement with the local community through the commencement of various programs designed to meet the specific needs of the local area.”
December quarter programs
During the December quarter, the company started a 6,300-metre drill program at the Tabakorole Gold Project in southern Mali and completed a 3,800-metre drill program at Lakanfla Gold Project in southwest Mali.
The company also finalised an agreement with Oklo Resources Ltd (ASX:OKU) to acquire an 80% JV interest in 600 square kilometres of gold exploration tenements and has started multi-element soil geochemistry and geophysics programs across most of the company’s exploration projects.
Tabakorole Gold Project
The 44-hole, 6,300-metre reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at Tabakorole is designed to increase the existing resource by extending gold mineralisation along strike in both directions.
The program will be completed towards the end of January 2021.
Marvel’s landholding at Tabakorole, which covers 300 square kilometres in granted tenements, is held under two separate joint ventures, firstly with UK and TSX-listed Altus Strategies plc (LON:ALS) (CVE:ALTS) (OTCMKTS:ALTUF) and secondly with Oklo Resources Ltd (ASX:OKU) (FRA:JYA).
The current drilling is being undertaken on the Altus JV tenement and completion of the program will see the company satisfy its second stage earn-in obligations and earn a 51% interest.
It has been agreed with Altus that the portion of this accelerated drill program in excess of the second-stage requirement will be allocated to future earn-in requirements as the company moves towards an 80% JV interest.
Lakanfla Gold Project
During the quarter, a 3,800-metre RC drilling program was completed at Lakanfla, the results of which are expected later this month.
Lakanfla hosts a significant number of active and historic artisanal gold workings which are coincident with major geochemical and gravity anomalies.
The objective of the first phase drill program was to prove the existence of a karst and identify the potentially mineralised areas of the gravity lows.
Lakanfla is 6 kilometres southeast of the tier-1 Sadiola gold mine with 13.5 million ounces of production historically.
The company understands Sadiola may require additional oxide feed in the relative near-term, which may prove beneficial for Lakanfla.
Extensive multi-element soil geochemistry and geophysics programs are being conducted across all of Marvel’s exploration projects where little to no exploration has been previously conducted.
It is anticipated that these baseline datasets will be completed by the end of March 2021, with drill targets identified shortly thereafter.
Acquisition of tenements
During the quarter, the company executed a shareholders’ agreement with Oklo to acquire an 80% interest in Oklo’s three South Mali gold projects – Tabakorole, Yanfolila and Kolondieba – covering 600 square kilometres of highly prospective Birimian Greenstone terrain.
The company has met all the conditions precedent to complete the acquisition, which will bring the company’s total landholding in Mali to 752 square kilometres.
Both Oklo and Marvel have agreed with the initial work programs for the South Mali Gold Projects, with multi-element soil geochemistry and high-resolution ground magnetics underway at each project.
Enhancement of in-country capability
During the quarter, the company has taken various steps to strengthen its capacity to operate in Mali that include:
- Establishment of a guesthouse and office in Bamako;
- Acquisition of three light vehicles to support exploration activities;
- Providing basic upgrades to permanent exploration camps including new gen sets;
- Purchase and installation of a fuel tank to support ongoing drilling activities at Tabakorole; and
- Commencement of community relations programs.
Also, during the quarter, the company completed a placement of 95 million shares at 6 cents per share to professional and sophisticated investors to raise $5.7 million.
This placement ensures that Marvel is fully funded to undertake an accelerated, growth-focused exploration program across its Mali gold exploration portfolio.