An independent mineral resource estimate (MRE) of Aim- and TSX-listed mining royalty company Altus Strategies’ Diba gold project, in Mali, has defined a mineral resource of 4.8-million tonnes of gold at a grade of 1.39 g/t for 217 000 oz in the indicated category.
The company's 100%-owned 81 km2 Diba project is strategically located 13 km south of the multimillion-ounce Sadiola gold mine, in the ‘Kenieba Window’ in western Mali, with the inferred category of the MRE pointing to 5.4-million tonnes of gold at a grade of 1.06 g/t for 187 000 oz.
Altus reports that the project comprises a shallow-dipping, near-surface resource covering a compact area of 700 m by 700 m.
The MRE, showing a 637% increase in inferred resource from the previous historic estimate, also points to the project having oxide-hosted ounces of more than 50%.
Altus points out that geology, engineering and geotechnical company Mining Plus is finalising a preliminary economic assessment to assess the potential for an openpit gold mine.
Altus CE Steven Poulton says mineralisation at Diba is hosted in an area of elevated topography and typically starts within 8 m of the surface and has been modelled to a depth of 225 m, where it remains open down dip.
“Substantial exploration potential exists for further discoveries at Diba, with seven priority prospects defined, to date, which have yet to be systematically drill tested. All these prospects are located within 7 km of the current mineral resource.”
He notes that, following the recent strategic investment in Altus by La Mancha, Altus will now accelerate its exploration programmes at Diba to test the significant potential to grow the project's resource.
In addition to the MRE, Altus is planning to explore another seven targets within 7 km of the Diba mineral resource.
These targets offer the potential for a significant expansion in the potential of the Diba project to be tested through a systematic drilling programme.
The first target is Diba Southwest and is located 1.2 km southwest and along strike of the Diba mineral resource. The prospect is defined by a northeast striking 1.2 km long discontinuous gold in soil anomaly with a series of discretely anomalous termite mound samples above 20 parts per billion (ppb) of gold. The anomaly occurs along the flank of a ferricrete ridge, which extends for a further 1.5 km to the southwest.
The second target involves the Diba Northwest prospect, which extends for 1.85 km northwest from the Diba mineral resource. The prospect is defined by a northwest striking 2.6 km2 gold in soil anomaly.
Historic air-core drilling over the prospect tested the anomaly to an average vertical depth of 12.7 m, with a number of holes terminating in gold mineralisation of greater than 0.5 g/t of gold within the oxide zone.
The third target is the Diba East prospect and is located immediately east of the Diba mineral resource. Historic air-core and reverse-circulation drilling intersected anomalous gold in the oxide zone, including 0.5 g/t of gold over 12 m from 28.5 m.
The fourth target, Diba West-Northwest is located 2 km northwest of the Diba mineral resource and is defined by a 650 m by 440 m east-west striking zone of anomalous termite mound samples up to 37 ppb of gold. The strike length of Diba West-northwest is comparable in size to that of the Diba mineral resource.
Targets five to seven are plateau targets, which are located 2.1 km, 4.8 km and 7.6 km northwest of the Diba mineral resource and cover areas of 1 km2, 0.58 km2 and 0.55 km2 respectively.
All three plateau targets possess linear flanks indicating the potential for a structural control. The targets are defined by gold in soil anomalies from historic soil sampling grids that occur on the margins of the plateaux, indicating the potential for mineralisation being masked by a ferricrete carapace.