LAKE VICTORIA (gold)
|Location||Mwanza & Geita Regions|
|Kibo’s Interest||57% in Katoro Gold PLC which holds the projects|
|Main Target Area||Imweru & Lubando|
|Resource||~700,000 oz. Gold (Imweru & Lubando projects)|
|Next Steps||• Complete Definitive Mining Feasibility Study (“DMFS”) at Imweru
• Drill gold targets on Sheba project ( project is contiguous with Imweru) as part of Imweru DMFS
The Lake Victoria Projects comprise a large portfolio of tenements (prospecting licences, offers and applications) covering an area of c.1,500 square kilometres scattered throughout Tanzania’s premier gold mining region, the Lake Victoria Goldfield (LVG). The tenement portfolio includes two resource based projects, Imweru and Lubando together with a large number of earlier stage licences and applications extending over four administrative regions, Mwanza, Geita, Shinyanga and Kagera in this part of northern Tanzania. Many of the tenements have been divided into sub-project blocks within the greater Lake Victoria project area. The most convenient access to most of the tenements is from the city of Mwanza, Tanzania’s second city, where Kibo has a field exploration office. From Mwanza, access to the tenements is first by ferry and then by a network of tarred and gravel roads. The operating gold mines in the region have contributed to the improvement in the regional road network in recent years, but given such a large area, access to many of the tenements is still by gravel roads in variable states of repair, which deteriorate during the wet season.
The geology of the LVG is broadly similar to other gold producing Archaean greenstone terrains throughout the World and comprises a number of east west trending linear greenstone belts separated by granite-gneiss terrains. The Lake Victoria project tenements surround, straddle and occur within all the major greenstone belts in the LVG and include the Geita, Buhungukira, the Sarama-Rwamagaza and the Ushirombo Greenstone Belts. Additionally, a significant number of the tenements are close to gold deposits, operating large scale mines and artisanal workings. Gold mineralisation within the LVG is controlled by a combination of favourable host rocks such as banded iron formation, quartz reefs and porphyries within favourable structural settings. The Lake Victoria projects are well located in this regard and many of Kibo’s tenements occur on or close to regional structural lineaments and contacts that geologists consider to be controls on gold mineralisation in the region.
Earlier gold discoveries and mine developments in the LVG have been mainly based on re-evaluation and extension of historic gold mines and occurrences (e.g. Geita, Bulyanhulu, and North Mara). The LVG is now at an exploration maturity stage where companies, assisted by the increased knowledge of the geology and gold mineralisation of the region, are continuing to extend their search for mineralisation further away from the near surface showings and historic gold mining districts. This has already resulted in exploration discovery success in the first phase of systematic company exploration during the mid-nineties to the early part of the last decade with such discoveries such as Tulawaka, Myabi, Buswagi and Nyanzaga.
The Lake Victoria project presents Kibo with a large early stage gold prospective licence portfolio in Tanzania’s main gold mining region. The company’s tenements encompass many areas adjacent to known gold discoveries where experience has shown from other parts of the world (e.g. Yilgarn Block, Western Australia) that significant new discoveries can be made with focused and systematic application of modern mineral exploration techniques.
Kibo commenced field exploration on the Lake Victoria project during 2012 on some of its most prospective prospecting licences (PLs). The main component of this programme was infill soil sampling over PLs that showed anomalous gold-in-soil values from regional geochemical surveys undertaken by previous operators. Four PLs were selected for sampling, PLs 6283/09, 7589/12, 7590/12 (Mhangu Block) and PL 5243/08 (Central Block). The soil sampling results for the Mhangu Block PLs were the most encouraging and established trenching and rotary air blast (RAB) drill targets. Follow up work on these targets is currently suspended in order to prioritize resources towards Kibo’s more advanced development projects at Mbeya (coal) and Imweru.
During 2013, as part of a review and rationalisation of its tenement portfolio, Kibo reduced the total number and area of its early stage exploration ground in the Lake Victoria region. Concurrently it increased the quality of its holdings in the area by acquiring two brownfield exploration projects, Imweru & Lubando and a number of other highly prospective surrounding tenements in the Geita Region. Imweru and Lubando together have a total gold resource of approximately 700,000 ounces at 1 g/t.
The Imweu project, in which Kibo now has a 100% interest, is located approximately 35 km west of and along strike of AngloGold Ashanti’s world class Geita deposits (estimated pre-mining gold endowment of ~ 23 M oz @ 4 g/t.). The regional geology comprises a sequence of metabasalts (greenstones) and felsic volcanics with subordinate diorite, quartz porphyries, and metasediments together forming the Geita Greenstone Belt (GGB) which is intruded in parts by syn and post tectonic granites. Gold mineralisation at Imweru is hosted in shear related silicified/quarz vein zones within diorite over an East-West strike of 10 km and to a depth of about 200 m. Mineralisation occurs both in fresh rock and in the overlying saprolite and laterite regolith zones.
During late 2013, Kibo carried out a drill programme at Imweru which comprised 21 drill holes for a combined total of 3,265 m of reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling (DD). The drilling was designed to provide further infill coverage of the previously drilled Imweru Central Mineralised Zone (ICMZ) which contributes a significant part of the estimated gold resource of 629,600 oz for the property. The results of the drilling were incorporated into an updated JORC-compliant resource estimate of 550,000 oz (15 million tonnes @ 1.14 g/t, 0.4 g/t cut-off). This new resource estimate reflected a 39% increase in the overall estimated gold ounces for the ICMZ to 426,000 oz with 24% of this in the Indicated category. The decrease in the overall resource estimate for the whole project was the result of a reduction and restatement of the gold resource at the Imweru Eastern Mineralised Zone (IEMZ) due to changes in mineral tenement holdings in the period preceding Kibo’s acquisition of Imweru.
More detail on the Imweru project and the results of the 2013 drilling programme are found in the technical report by EBA Tetratech under the Company Documents page of the website.
Kibo’s’s near-term plans for its Lake Victoria projects will be primarily focused on Imweru where work is on-going. An internal optimization study which was validated by Kibo’s independent consultants, has established the potential viability of the existing Imweru Mineral Resource to support an economic mining operation. Based on these results Kibo commenced a Definitive Mining Feasibility Study (“DMFS”) on the project during the second half of 2014 with the first output from this study, a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) by independent consultant Minxcon, showing favorable economic indicators for development of a gold mine on the existing Mineral Resource. The next element of work on the DMFS will comprise the completion of the Pre-feasibility Study for the project.As a result of the challenging funding environmernt and prioritisation of the Company’s resources to the MCPP the DMFS has been slow-tracked for the moment but will be fully implemented and expedited once funding conditions are more favourable. As part of the DMFS, Kibo also intends to drill test additional targets on the nearby Sheba and Pamba projects on promising gold-in-soil anomaly targets in addition to infill drilling to increase the existing Imweru gold resource where substantial potential exists. The results of the 2014 economic and technical studies at Imweru indicate the potential to increase the Company’s total gold resource in the region and extend the life of the modeled base case gold mine development. .
In addition to Imweru, Kibo also holds the Lubando project where a gold Mineral Resource of 2,593,710 tonnes at 2 g/t (~168,000 oz.) has already been defined by previous operators. It also has trench and drill targets defined on the Mhangu project resulting from exploration in 2012 that remain to be tested and a significant number of well-located early stage prospecting licences that await first-pass exploration surveys. The schedule and timing of exploration activities on these projects will be dependent on available resources consistent with prioritisation of expenditure on the company’s more advanced projects in the near term.
Kibo’s tenement position in Lake Victoria gives it the opportunity to establish satellite gold resources to the major producing mines in the region (e.g. Geita, Bulyanhulu). The economic viability of low grade small tonnage gold resources may be enhanced by their proximity to existing mine infrastructure. Kibo will continue to investigate synergies in this regard with the major regional gold producers as it proceeds with its exploration programmes.