Ethiopia and Djibouti gold exploration produces promising results

(HornTrade) – Exploration drilling activities at development mining company Stratex International’s East African tenements are indicating significant widths of low-grade gold mineralisation.

The company is currently active on a number of sites in Turkey, Ethiopia and Djibouti, and is focusing on the development of its assets in East and West Africa, and, in particular, its Blackrock gold project, in Ethiopia.

The wholly owned Blackrock epithermal gold project covers an area of 299 km2 within the northern Afar region and is located 18 km east of the small town of Berahale. Within the licence area, four separate zones of low-sulphidation mineralisation have been identified over a distance of 15.9 km from north to south, which are hosted within structures associated with half-graben faults.

The project’s 5 000 m drill programme is 50% complete, with ‘blind’ veins intersected under recent gravel cover. Surface sampling returned up to 18.75 g/t of gold from the project’s Baker structure, and 23.9 g/t from its Stanley vein.

Despite previous logistics problems on site, such as water supply issues, Stratex East Africa executive director David Hall says he sees enhanced potential on a number of fronts.

“The definition of blind veins under gravel has extended our target strike length considerably. In addition, the results from the surface sampling of other structures have returned higher gold grades, and we now have a new style of mineralisation in rhyolite domes,” he notes.

Meanwhile, intersection results from the thick classic epithermal veins at Blackrock are expected by the end of April.

Epithermal consultant Dr Jeff Hedenquist asserts that the licence area consists of several areas of outcropping epithermal quartz veins that are locally anomalous in gold, and that it has sig-nificant untested potential for both undiscovered veins and the subsurface extent of the known mineralised veins.

“Similar vein systems in the US and Argentina have been proven through per-severance in drilling, with many devel-oped into mines. “The fact that the veins have been eroded to a shallow extent is promising, given that the depth to the top of the high grades in these type of epithermal veins is typically between 50 m and 250 m below paleosurface,” he says.

In line with these observations, the company is undertaking further mapping and sampling that will be extended to other zones within the Blackrock area.

Meanwhile, the company reports several positive intersections at its Ethiopia-based Shehagne project, where the 1 000 m drill programme is complete, and has returned grades of between 1 g/t of gold and 2 g/t of gold over widths of up to 9.6 m within long intervals of low-grade gold mineralisation.

Further, the company is continuing activities at the Afar project with joint venture (JV) partner Thani Ashanti, where an airborne magnetic survey over Tendaho and Djibouti is planned for March or April.

A ground magnetic survey was recently completed over the Megenta epithermal gold project, the first discovery within the company’s Afar project JV. The company reports that these results are encouraging and have helped to define structures beneath the extensive sinter terrace.

The JV has relinquished two licences in Djibouti and has obtained one new licence, which brings the total licensed land pack-age to 3 765 km2.


Source: miningweekly

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