Gabon-based mining company Société Equatoriale des Mines (SEM) has undertaken prospecting activities, which will expire in March 2016, for gold at the Camp 6 gold project, in the north-eastern part of Gabon.
Based on the sampling work conducted during trenching last year, alluvial gold material with an average grade of 2.4 g/t was discovered.
SEM CEO Fabrice Nze-Bekale tells Mining Weekly that two types of mineralisation have been found in the area; alluvial placer gold in a 2-km-long stream and bent iron formation- (BIF-) bearing gold mineralisation.
“A drilling campaign will be undertaken in the coming months to delineate the contours,” he notes.
Nze-Bekale states that comprehensive exploration was initially conducted for iron.
“Some alluvial gold placers had been mined in the 1950s and 1 t was produced” he points out.
Nze-Bekale explains that this year’s programme includes resource estimation of alluvial gold in the stream through 300 pits on a 50 m × 50 m grid, a small-scale mining operation and a 300 m drilling campaign of shallow drill holes to define the geological resources of BIF-hosting gold mineralisation.
SEM is also currently in the process of developing its Kolissen gold project, located near Libreville, in Gabon.
Nze-Bekale explains that, owing to the area’s geological context, the numerous gold anomalies, which are up to 2 km long along a shear zone, the intensive artisanal mining activity and good intersections resulting from deep drill holes, the Kolissen gold project has the potential to be a good deposit.
“It is currently in the brownfield stage of exploration, and geotechnical drilling began last year. Locally, the mineralised area falls within a tectonised corridor that is 7 km wide,” he says.
He adds that kimberlitic dykes were also discovered through drill cores, indicating that there could be diamond mineralisation in the area.
“Gold generally occurs within vertically dipping vein systems and between 3 m and 5 of stockwork. The veins follow the structural trend and run parallel to the north–northwest Ikoy-Ikobe fault,” he notes.
He further comments that the gold mineralisation appears to be associated with white saccharoidal quartzites and faulted contact with greenstone units.
This year’s programme includes acquisition, compilation, integration and reinterpretation of the site’s historic data to define the main targets, as well as a detailed geological mapping at a scale of 1:5 000 and a drilling programme.
SEM recently acquired a mining quarry for its Dousse Oussou project, which will produce ornamental stones in Gabon’s Nyanga province, in southern Gabon. This is a joint venture project between SEM, the local community and a foreign technical partner.
“To ensure the development and operation of the quarry, the developers [established] a mining company called La Pierre du Gabon SA, which is currently 100 % owned by SEM; a capitalisation of the company is currently to be opened to the local community and others,” he notes.
Nze-Bekale adds that only 13 500 t/y will be produced, which will allow the quarry to last several decades.
“The analysis of the extracted blocks and different samples collected confirms the quality of the material, and is consistent with the first geological study. “European laboratory Eurofins appraised the marble, which shows an average porosity of 0.2% for an average bulk density of 2700 kg/m3,” he notes.