Mako Gold Ltd’s maiden 868,000-ounce Napié gold resource provides strong growth platform
Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) has delivered a maiden gold resource of 868,000 ounces at the flagship Napié Project in Côte d’Ivoire providing a strong foundation for further growth in the short and long term.
This inferred mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 22.45 million tonnes at 1.20 g/t gold from the Tchaga (545,000 ounces) and Gogbala (323,000 ounces) deposits represents a major first step in the company’s goal to define a multi-million-ounce deposit.
It is described as a “robust, shallow” resource with 93% of the total within 150 metres of the surface and 68% within 100 metres while the grade increases with depth at both deposits.
“Only scratched the surface”
Tchaga and Gogbala are two of the four known prospects being explored on the Napié Project and the resource is from an area of just 4.4 kilometres of the 30-kilometre-long mineralised Napié Shear with just 13% of the shear systematically drilled.
Mako’s managing director Peter Ledwidge said: “The maiden mineral resource estimate is a significant milestone for Mako Gold. It is the first step in our vision to discover a multi-million-ounce resource base at the Napié Project.
“This resource represents only 4.4 kilometres of the 30-kilometre shear zone and we have only ‘scratched the surface’ with respect to the broader exploration upside at Napié. We see a clear pathway to deliver a significant increase in the resource.”
MRE grade and tonnage by depth.
Shallow maiden MRE
Napié’s maiden MRE is much shallower than the average 300-metre depth for recent resources in West Africa.
The maximum resource depth, which is constrained due to limited deeper drilling, is 195 metres at Tchaga and 160 metres at Gogbala.
Part of the company’s near-term growth strategy is to drill below the current limits of the MRE at Tchaga and Gogbala.
MRE on Tchaga and Gogbala which cover 4.4 kilometres of prospective 30-kilometre-long Napié Shear Zone.
Grades increase at depth
The grades at Tchaga and Gogbala increase with depth, supporting the strategy that deeper drilling has the potential to add higher-grade ounces to the resource.
Detailed metallurgical test-work and near-term infill drilling will assist with low-cost reclassification to indicated. The majority of the resource is in fresh rock, with less than 11% in the shallow (30-40 metres deep) oxide zone.
The resource at Tchaga comprises 14.6 million tonnes at 1.16 g/t for 545,000 ounces of gold.
This resource is shallow and includes high-grade lodes. The grades increase with depth and below 150 metres, increases to 1.38 g/t gold. Further drilling at depth may provide an uplift in the grade of the deposit.
Gogbala’s resource comprises 7.8 million tonnes at 1.29 g/t for 323,000 ounces. The resource is shallow and includes high-grade lodes.
Plan view of Gogbala MRE outline with multi-kilometre long portions of undrilled Napié shear.
The grade of the deposit is higher at Gogbala than Tchaga and grade also increases with depth. Below 150 metres the grade increases to 1.90 g/t. Further drilling at depth may provide an uplift in the grade of the deposit.
Near-term growth potential
“Some of the high-grade results returned from Tchaga and Gogbala were not included in the MRE as they were below the MRE base depth,” Ledwidge said.
“The grade of the resource improves with depth. This indicates the potential for near-term growth by deeper drilling at Tchaga and Gogbala.
“Encouragingly, there are several kilometres of undrilled portions of the Napié shear between Tchaga and Gogbala as well as a parallel shear at Gogbala that includes more than 4 kilometres of strike that remains to be drilled. These provide exceptional targets for near-term resource expansion.
“We plan to recommence drilling shortly on high-priority shallow targets at Gogbala which we consider a rapid, low-cost pathway for near-term resource growth.
“We also have plans to drill depth extensions at Gogbala and Tchaga, while we continue to explore the Tchaga North and Komboro prospects, with the aim of advancing the Napié Project to a world-class multi-million-ounce deposit.”
Pathway to resource growth
In addition to the potential pathways to resource growth at depth at Tchaga and Gogbala, there are several large targets at Napié which provide a low-cost, rapid path to resource extension through shallow drilling.
Shallow drilling is scheduled to target the 4.5-kilometre strike length between Tchaga and Gogbala.
RC drilling is ongoing at Komboro and planned at Tchaga North, both high-priority regional targets, to follow up on 4 metres at 101.31 g/t gold in aircore and 8 metres at 8.53 g/t and 1-metre at 215 g/t in RC.