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The Drill Down: Best Gold Assays (Mar. 15-22)

*This article was originally written by Henry Lazenby and published in The Northern Miner

The Northern Miner’s Drill Down features highlights of the best gold assays from the March 15-22 period. Drill holes are ranked by gold grade x width as identified by data company Mining Intelligence.

Projects in the remote countries of Burkina Faso and Suriname, as well as Australia, led the week’s top results. West African Resources (ASX: WAF) says recent underground drilling may expand its Sanbrado gold mine southeast of the capital of Ouagadougou. In South America, Founders Metals (TSXV: FDR; US-OTC: FDMIF) reported one of its best assays at the Antino project. Matsa Resources (ASX: MAT) wants to restart the Devon open-pit mine this year in Western Australia.

Burkina Faso

West African Resources drilled within the northern shoot at the M1 South pit to expand Sanbrado, which poured its first gold in March 2020. Drill hole M1SGC_0682 cut 9.5 metres grading 81.9 grams gold per tonne for a grade x width of 778 from 62 metres depth, the company said March 15.

Results from other holes included 8.5 metres at 41.4 grams, 2 metres at 133.1 grams, 4.5 metres at 54.8 grams and 5 metres at 45.2 grams, West African said. The assays may extend mineralization farther than 520 metres below surface, it said.

“Diamond drilling at the M1 South northern shoot has returned outstanding results,” chairman Richard Hyde said in the release. “West African will aim to fast-track the area into production during 2024.”

The Perth, Australia-based company is on track to produce 4 million oz. over the next decade, with production set to peak in 2029 at 473,000 oz., Hyde said. It has 12.8 million oz. gold in a resource and 6.1 million oz. in a reserve estimate, he said. The company plans to test the down dip extension of the northern shoot mineralization early next year.

Suriname

Founders Metals’ drill hole 24GG04 cut 38 metres grading 10.9 grams for a grade x width of 414 from 149 metres depth. The assay is from the northwest of the Froyo target as Founders works to link it with the Donut target 800 metres across strike.

“Today’s results are some of the best we’ve seen at Antino and are yet another example of the exceedingly high-grade, near surface gold mineralization at Froyo,” Founders CEO Colin Padget said in the release.

Last month, the company reported drill hole 24DO07 cut 19 metres grading 14.2 grams from 196 metres depth at Donut. Donut shows high-grade gold mineralization similar to Froyo, but with additional broad, lower-grade gold around it, Padget said.

The 238-sq.-km Antino is Suriname’s most advanced project on a property that’s produced 500,000 oz. of artisanal gold historically. The project could rival Newmont’s (TSX: NGT) Merian and Zijin Mining’s Rosebel gold mines on the Guiana Shield in South America’s northeast.

Australia

In Australia, Matsa Resources’ (ASX: MAT) drill hole DVWL007 cut 6 metres grading 36.16 grams for a grade x width of 217 from 48 metres depth at the West Lode target of the Devon site, the company said March 22.

Matsa plans to restart the Devon open-pit mine in the wider Lake Carey gold project this year, it said. It expects to finalize a mining contract with BML Ventures within days. Several mining approvals are pending and others have been granted.

Devon hosts 467,000 tonnes at 4.6 grams for 69,000 oz. contained gold with 82% of the resource within the indicated category, the company said.

While Devon’s Main Lode was mined as recently as 2016, the West Lode hasn’t been mined since the 1920s when three small shafts were sunk on what appear to be high-grade shoots, Matsa executive chairman Paul Poli said in the release.

“We are hoping these new high-grade intercepts from the West Lode will give us an uplift,” Poli said. “We’re confident the West Lode will be a significant contributor to the mining operation. Importantly, ore from the West Lode is expected from surface.”

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