New York Stock Exchange- and Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Asanko Gold Inc., which has mineral rights in the Asankrangwa Gold Belt in Ghana, has announced positive initial results from its 2016 exploration programme.
This follows a successful 2015 programme that identified a series of advanced targets that are now being drilled to resource status on a systematic basis.
The first drilling campaign has delineated two mineralised zones – one is an extension of the existing Adubiaso pit (3km from the Phase 1 processing facility) and the other is a north-easterly extension of the main Nkran pit mineralisation.
Both zones present as near-surface, have not been mined before and occur within the existing mine permit boundaries which will result in a streamlined permitting process.
Following the successful commissioning of the first phase of the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana, West Africa in Q1 2016, the miner said the process plant has demonstrated the ability to operate at greater than 110% of design rates.
Currently, the limiting factor on operating the plant at sustained rates above design is ore supply, as the Nkran pit cannot be sustainably mined at a rate of more than three million tonnes per annum.
The main focus of the 2016 exploration programme, according to Asanko, is to find sources of ore that are within close proximity of the processing facility to take advantage of the excess capacity.
Peter Breese, President and CEO, said in a statement: “We are very encouraged by the early success of our exploration strategy which is targeting near-surface resources that are within an economic trucking distance of the Phase 1 processing facility and which can be quickly and cost-effectively brought into production.
“Processing these resources using the existing capacity in our process facility will boost production levels, improve our unit operating costs and increase cashflow from operations in the near-term.”
Adubiaso Satellite Pit Extension
The Adubiaso pit is a previously mined satellite pit at the Asanko Gold Mine, which is estimated to contain 1.8 million tonnes of Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves at 2.07 g/t gold. These Mineral Reserves lie predominantly under the old pit and form part of the current life-of-mine plan for the Asanko Gold Mine. In 2015, mineralisation in two zones over a 300m strike length extending to the North-East of the existing pit were identified based on an analysis of historical drill hole data.
In the first-quarter of 2016, the Company drilled 20 holes (approximately 2,100 metres) of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling and delineated a classified Mineral Resource.
Whittle pit designs, waste dump planning and a water management programme will now begin with a view to commencing mining by the end of the year. Given these additional resources are part of and not a material addition to the estimated Asanko Gold Mine resources, no separate technical report will be prepared for them.
Nkran Extension Drilling Results
The Nkran Extension target is located on the Nkran shear structure approximately 2km from the Phase 1 processing facility. The target runs for 900m North-South adjacent to the existing Tailings Storage Facility. A drilling programme was completed during March 2016, with 29 RC drillholes completed (approximately 2,200 metres).
Significant intercepts to date include the following:
• 13 metres at 5.50 g/t gold
• 9 metres at 6.73 g/t gold
• 12 metres at 4.38 g/t gold
2016 Exploration Programme
Asanko controls a large, continuous package (approximately 679km²) of mineral rights in the Asankrangwa Gold Belt in Ghana. Work will continue on the remaining targets identified through the prospectivity and regional geophysics surveys (VTEM) completed during 2014 and 2015.
Asanko looking ahead
In the longer term, the Company plans to develop the large Esaase deposit as Phase 2 of the Asanko Gold Mine. A Definitive Feasibility Study is currently underway and expected to be published in Q3 2016.
About Asanko Gold Inc.
Asanko said its vision is to become a mid-tier gold mining company that maximises value for all its stakeholders. The Company’s flagship project is the multi-million ounce Asanko Gold Mine located in Ghana, West Africa. The mine is being developed in phases. Phase 1 commenced gold production in January 2016 and declared commercial production on April 1, 2016. Ramp-up to steady state production of 190,000 ounces per annum is expected in Q2 2016.
Asanko is managed by highly skilled and successful technical, operational and financial professionals. The Company says it is strongly committed to the highest standards for environmental management, social responsibility, and health and safety for its employees and neighbouring communities.