Mining investment company Altus Strategies released the results of an independent mineral resource estimate at its wholly-owned Diba gold project in Mali on Monday.
The AIM-traded firm said the mineral resource comprised 4,834,000 tonnes at 1.39 grams of gold per tonne, for 217,000 ounces in the indicated category, and 5,479,000 tonnes at 1.06 grams of gold per tonne for 187,000 ounces in the inferred category.
It explained that oxide-hosted ounces represented more than 50% of the mineral resource estimate, adding that there was a 637% increase in inferred resources in the estimate, from the previous, historic resource.
It said the independent consultant, Mining Plus, was finalising a preliminary economic assessment to assess the potential for an open-pit gold mine.
The company described Diba as a shallow-dipping, near-surface resource covering a compact area of 700 metres by 700 metres.
It explained that the drill results included 5.36 grams of gold per tonne over 13 metres, and 9.60 grams of gold per tonne over eight metres, adding that the resource was open down-dip, with seven further prospects yet to be systematically drill tested.
Diba is located 13 kilometres south of the multi-million ounce Sadiola gold mine, in the “Kenieba Window” in western Mali.
“We are delighted to announce this significant initial mineral resource at our Diba gold project in western Mali, with more than 50% being classified as oxide material,” said chief executive officer Steven Poulton.
“Mineralisation at Diba consists of a series of shallow-dipping stacked lenses within a compact footprint of approximately 700 metres by 700 metres.
“The mineralisation is hosted in an area of elevated topography and typically starts within eight metres of the surface, and has been modelled to a depth of 225 metres, where it remains open down dip.”
Poulton said “substantial” exploration potential existed for further discoveries at Diba, with seven priority prospects defined to date, which were yet to be systematically drill tested.
“All these prospects are located within seven kilometres of the current mineral resource.
“Following the recent strategic investment in Altus by La Mancha, we will now accelerate our exploration programmes at Diba to test the significant potential to grow the project’s resource.
“In the meantime, a preliminary economic assessment for an open-pit oxide gold mine on the current resource is underway.”
At 1203 BST, shares in Altus Strategies were up 3.97% at 32.75p.