TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Africa-focused gold miner Randgold Resources will start a geophysical survey over joint venture (JV) partner TSX-listed Loncor Resources' Ngayu project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
LSE- and Nasdaq-listed Randgold will make use of high-resolution, helicopter-deployed, electromagnetic, versatile time-domain electromagnetic (VTEM) B-Field technology, as well as horizontal magnetic gradiometer geophysical surveying over the prospective area in May, Loncor advised Monday.
According to Loncor, the survey, which would be conducted by Geotech Airborne, was expected to take three months to complete, flying in north-south orientated lines at 400 m spacing for a total of 10 000 line kilometres, of which 4 200 line kilometres would be flown over the Ngayu project. The flight line spacing would then be reduced to 200 m line spacing over potential targets identified during the initial survey.
The airborne survey was expected to cost about $1.4-million to complete.
On completion of the geophysical survey, this data would be integrated with the current airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical, regional bulk leach extractable gold stream sediment, local soil geochemical and surface and trench mapping, as well as historical drill hole data to define and prioritise targets within the Ngayu project. On-the-ground exploration by Randgold was expected to take place from October 2016.
Under the JV agreement signed in January, Randgold had agreed to manage and fund assessment of the exploration permit areas comprising Loncor's Ngayu project until a prefeasibility study had been completed on any gold discovery meeting Randgold’s investment criteria. Subject to the DRC’s free carried interest requirements, Randgold would earn 65% of any discovery, with Loncor holding the balance of 35%. Loncor would be required, from that point forward, to fund its pro-rata share regarding the discovery in order to maintain its 35% interest, or it would be diluted.
According to Loncor, certain parcels of land within the Ngayu project surrounding and including the Makapela and Yindi prospects had been retained for itself, and did not form part of the JV with Randgold. However, Randgold would have certain pre-emptive rights over these two areas.
Loncor's Makapela prospect had an indicated mineral resource of 614 200 oz of gold contained in 2.2-million tonnes grading 8.66 g/t gold and an inferred resource of 549 600 oz of gold contained in 3.22-million tonnes grading 5.3 g/t gold.