In Senegal, Mako mine construction commenced in August 2016, which restricted access to the permit area and exploration activities were, therefore, confined to three exploration permits located to the east of the mine licence.
In Cote d’Ivoire progress was made on the joint venture with Predictive Discovery Ltd (ASX: PDI) and exploration work over the period focused on the Boundiali and Ferkessedougou North exploration permits while generative work continued on the Beriaboukro and Kokoumbo permits in the Fetekro greenstone belt. Both RC and Core Drilling activities were completed at the Boundiali permit while the balance of the portfolio was subject to surface exploration techniques which resulted in the delineation of drill targets for further evaluation during the 2017-18 field season.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include:
Mamakanti Permit, Senegal
Soil sampling and mapping led to the identification of the 5km long Baniomba prospect as well as the Sekoto and Lame prospects which are all spatially associated with the regionally important Sabodala Shear Corridor.
Ferkessedougou North, Cote d’Ivoire
Soil sampling and mapping has identified of a new 18km long, 1-3km wide, NNE trending zone of soil anomalies – the Leraba Trend.
Boundiali permit, Cote d’Ivoire
Highlights from the RC and core drilling programmes include:
Howard Bills, Group Exploration Manager, commented: “Our exploration teams have continued to make progress on systematically exploring the extensive land package in Cote d’Ivoire. The newly discovered Leraba Trend is a particularly exciting prospect where a complex series of soil anomalies has been discovered by Toro along an 18km strike length which is coincident with widespread artisanal mining. The Leraba Trend will form the focus for Cote d’Ivoire exploration over the next 6 months with a trenching and airborne geophysical survey now underway to be followed by an RC drilling programme in Q1 2018. In addition, drilling results at Nyangboue Central,on the Boundiali permit have continued to be encouraging which will also be subject of the current airborne geophysical survey and further RC infill drilling during 2018.
And with mine construction approaching completion Toro is turning its attention to resource and reserve expansion at Mako where a programme of deep drilling, beneath the open pit, is planned for Q1 2018 to investigate the potential for underground mining of ore shoots. We will follow up at the Mamakanti permit during Q1 2018 as we seek to add further ounces to our Senegalese portfolio.
The 2017-18 field season promises to be yet another busy and exciting period for our exploration teams across West Africa and I look forward to providing further updates in 2018.”
Exploration in Senegal is primarily focused on the identification of additional mill feed for the Mako Gold Project to extend the current mine life. The Company has already identified a number of zones of potential mineralisation both beneath the current open pit at the Mako Gold Project and across the mining concession area; however, construction activities have restricted access to the site over the last 15 months. Further testing of these targets will commence in early 2018 once the mine is operating.
Activities in Senegal since December 2017 have therefore focused on identifying satellite deposits outside of the current Mako Permit area through the operation of a number of joint ventures with local Senegalese partners. In Q4 2016 Toro signed an earn-in joint venture with Sonko et Fils on their Mamakanti permit (38 km²) and signed an Option Agreement with Sodemines in respect of their two Wassadou permits (total 68 km²). Toro has also made direct applications for two additional permits – Koulountou North and East, which are currently pending.
The Senegalese exploration team are currently developing a work programme for the 2017-18 field season that will focus on both the Mako Mining Permit brownfields exploration and exploration on the JV permits located to the east of Mako.
Over the last 12 months, broad spaced soil sampling (400*100 metre grids) was used to screen the entire surface area of all three permit areas. Closer spaced soil sampling (200*50 metre grids) was then undertaken to cover areas of soil anomalism and a number of coherent soil anomalies were mapped in readiness for the next phase of work – trenching and RC drilling – during the 2017-18 dry season. Some 5,200 soil samples were collected and 25 km² of prospect mapping was carried out during the 2016-17 field season.
Baniomba prospect: Detailed soil sampling (200*50 metre sample spacing) has delineated a narrow (<0.5km wide), 5km long soil anomaly which straddles and runs parallel to the regionally important Sabodala Shear Zone or Corridor. The anomaly is associated with at least two parallel zones of quartz veining (200-400m apart) which are hosted by sheared granodiorite and metasediments although 2km of the anomaly strike length is masked by laterite sheets.
Sekoto prospect: This is an extension of the Baniomba prospect located 4km to the NE of Baniomba where a 1km long zone of quartz veining underlies the soil anomaly.
Lame prospect: Several ENE to NE trending soil anomalies have been delineated by detailed soil sampling associated with SSZ splays.
All three Mamakanti prospects warrant further evaluation – firstly trenching followed by RC drill testing during H1 2018.
Two areas of soil anomalism have been delineated within the Wassadou permits – the Honey Hill and Masa Fara prospects although these are both considered lower priority for follow-up exploration work during the 2017-18 field season.
Predictive Discovery Joint Venture Update
In March 2015 Toro Gold entered in to a joint venture agreement with PDI whereby Toro Gold is earning in to PDI’s Cote D’Ivoire subsidiary company, Predictive Discovery Côte D’Ivoire SARL (“JVCo”). JVCo at that time was the holder of three large Exploration Permits and a Joint Venture with a local company (Ivoire Negoce) over a fourth exploration permit.
Since signing the initial joint venture, additional permits have been acquired by JVCo to bring a total of six exploration permits being operated as either direct applications (Boundiali, Ferkessedougou and Kounahiri) or by way of Joint Ventures. One JV is with Ivoire Negoce on the Kokoumbo permit and the second JV is with Gold Ivoire Minerals (GIV) on the Ferkessedougou North and Beriaboukro permits.
Two additional GIV applications – Odienne North and South are included within the GIV JV and a further JV has been signed with DS Resources on the Boundiali North permit application. These applications are proceeding through the administration system in Cote d’Ivoire.
Work commenced in March 2015 and by the first quarter of 2017 Toro Gold satisfied the Stage 2 earn-in expenditure commitment leading to a holding of 65% in JVCo. At this time PDI notified the Company of its intention to fund future work on a pro-rata basis and since this time has been funding it’s 35% of exploration costs in Cote d’Ivoire.
This press release has been reviewed by the in-house qualified person Howard Bills who is a Fellow of the Geological Society and Chartered and European Geologist.
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