West Africa-focused Cora Gold has started a 22 000 m drilling campaign at its flagship Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali.
CEO Bert Monro says the drill programme will be the largest single programme that Cora has ever completed.
The campaign – undertaken by Capital Drilling Mali, a subsidiary of mining services company Capital Limited – may be expanded to 35 000 m as results are received and analysed.
The objective of the drilling campaign is to build on the mineral resource estimate (MRE), both from a resource growth perspective and upgrading of existing inferred resources to the indicated category, reported by independent consultants SRK Consulting in December 2019.
The MRE identified a resource of five-million tonnes of gold at a grade of 1.6 g/t for a contained 265 000 oz. This includes 4.5-million tonnes of oxide material (comprising hardcap, saprolite and saprock material) at a gold grade of 1.6 g/t, and 500 000 t of sulphide material at a grade of 1.8 g/t gold.
Across the deposit, the base of oxidation ranges from 30 m to 125 m, with an average depth below surface of about 65 m. The openpit shells used to constrain the resource extend to a maximum depth of 130 m below surface, highlighting the significant potential upside to the current resource.
If expanded to 35 000 m, Monro says, the campaign will represent an almost doubling of the drilling on the Sanankoro permit over the previous two years.
“During 2020 the company published a scoping study on the project showing a 107% internal rate of return and $24-million a year free cashflow at a $1 500/oz gold price,” he adds.