THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) has announced a maiden Resource for the Tialkam South prospect, situated within the Sirba gold project in Niger.
The Tialkam South gold prospect lies within the southern portion of the Tialkam permit, comprising part of the 1,916 square kilometre Sirba project, which consolidates the central portion of the Sirba greenstone belt straddling the Samira Hill gold mine in Niger.
The Indicated and Inferred Resource has been estimated at 117,300 ounces of gold and comprises 2.02 million tonnes at 1.82 grams per tonne gold at a 0.7g/t gold lower cut-off grade and a 10g/t gold upper cut-off grade.
The estimate follows a maiden RC resource drilling program, comprising 37 holes undertaken by Middle Island at Tialkam South prospect during the June quarter.
The company was encouraged by the prospect’s proximity to the producing Samira Hill gold mine – 12km to the southwest – to design the program to quantify an initial resource with a view to milling the material through the Samira Hill processing plant.
Results the Tialkam South RC drilling campaign included:
21 metres at 4.89 grams per tonne gold;
26m at 3.29g/t gold;
13m at 4.08g/t gold;
18m at 2.91g/t gold;
11m at 3.15g/t gold;
15m at 2.30g/t gold; and
13m at 2.26g/t gold.
“Notwithstanding exclusion of the primary mineralisation from the maiden Tialkam South resource estimate, the oxide and transitional resources lie in the middle to upper end of our expectations,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“What is particularly encouraging is that the resource remains open, with the section at the north-eastern extremity of the initial resource drilling demonstrating the strongest mineralisation identified to date.
“This provides significant opportunity to grow the Tialkam South deposit with further drilling.”
Middle Island Resources entered into a non-binding Heads of Agreement on 18 July 2013 with SEMAFO Inc (SMF) and its wholly owned subsidiary Semafo (Barbados) Limited to acquire, subject to Government approval and other conditions precedent, an 80 per cent interest in the Samira Hill gold mine.
On 26 August 2013, SMF issued a press release advising that it had suspended operations at the Samira Hill mine, noting that employees are to remain on site for maintenance purposes until 30 September 2013 pending sale of the mine.
Indications received by MDI point to the Niger Government being supportive of MDI operating the mine and the transaction generally, although in MDI’s view there will almost certainly be a need to extend the transaction timetable beyond 30 September if the transaction is to close.
“While MDI believes the delay in receiving Niger Government approval for acquisition of SEMAFO’s interest in the Samira Hill project will necessitate an extension to the transaction timetable, we remain optimistic that the acquisition will be effected,” Yeates said.