KEFI Minerals reports 'excellent start' to testing at Hawiah
Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia-focussed gold exploration and development company KEFI Minerals reported further encouraging assay results from the drilling programme at its Hawiah Exploration Licence in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
The AIM-traded firm said new assay results had been received from two drill holes, reporting that drillhole HWD 002 returned 2.6 metres at 2.5% copper, 0.1% zinc, 1.9 grams of gold per tonne and 17.8 grams of silver per tonne from 37.35 metres, with an estimated true width of two metres.
Drillhole HWD 003, meanwhile, returned 8.7 metres at 4.2% copper, 0.2% zinc, 0.7 grams of gold per tonne and 15.6 grams of silver per tonne from 38.65 metres, with as estimated true width of six metres.
KEFI said drilling had so far targeted the southern 1.5 kilometre section of the previously-reported five kilometre-long outcropping gossanous ridge and coincident geophysical anomalies.
It said the further encouraging results confirmed that volcanic massive sulphide mineralisation was the source, and that the mineralisation was comprised of copper, gold, silver and zinc.
The volcanic massive sulphide mineralisation was proving to be continuous both along strike and down dip, the board explained, consistently intersected along the currently drill-tested 1.5 kilometre-long southern portion of the Hawiah ridge.
Drillhole HWD 005 had demonstrated that massive sulphide mineralisation continued to a vertical depth of more than 250 metres.
The company said that, while assays had been received for only the first three of the nine drill holes completed to date, a number of holes had also intersected significant massive sulphide mineralisation.
At HWD 004, it reported one metre with an estimated true width of 0.65 metres of massive sulphide from 263.3 metres, and 16.18 metres with an estimated true width of 10.8 metres of massive sulphide from 267.7 metres.
On hole HWD 005, there was 12.5m with an estimated true width of nine metres of massive sulphide from 358.5 metres, while at hole HWD 009 it reported 2.3 metres with an estimated true width of two metres of massive sulphide from 100 metres, and 2.2 metres with an estimated true width of two metres of massive sulphide, from 109.6 metres.
In all instances, KEFI said the sulphide mineralisation encountered was composed primarily of pyrite, with veins and disseminations of chalcopyrite, which is a principal ore for copper.
Holes HWD 006 to HWD 008 were drilled to test for the presence of supergene enriched gold in the upper weathered portion of the ridgeline, the board added.
It said interpreted zones of oxidised gossan were intersected in a number of holes, including HWD 006 from 10.2 metres to 25.5 metres, for 15 metres with an estimated true width of seven metres.
That also included HWD 007 from 15 metres to 42.3 metres, for 27 metres with an estimated true width of 19 metres, and HWD 008 from 5.5 metres to 32.5 metres, for 27 metres with an estimated true width of 17 metres.
KEFI Minerals said that, as was often the case when drilling the oxide portions of a volcanic massive sulphide system, cavities had been encountered in that portion of the system, which in turn impacted drill core recovery.
That, the board said, was typical of gossan formation, and was associated with the supergene weathering processes.
The depth of weathering varied from 20 metres to 40 metres below surface, and as a result, the company's understanding of the oxide portion of the deposit was improving as the exploration programme progressed.
KEFI Minerals said it expected to address those hurdles with refined drilling and other sampling techniques.
The footwall and hanging wall rocks surrounding the massive sulphides presented with a weak and narrow alteration halo, the firm explained, and that coupled with the clastic sulphide textures indicated that the sulphides had been remobilised from a central source by sedimentary processes.
It said that was a “classic presentation” of the apron areas of volcanic massive sulphide deposits, which surrounded the central vent source, which it explained was typically comprised of thicker and higher-grade mineralisation underlain by stockwork vein feeder zones where one typically targeted the larger lower-grade parts of a deposit.
The remainder of the 2,500 metre scout diamond drilling programme would continue to test three key target zones, being near-surface oxidised zone for supergene enriched gold, massive sulphides at depth for copper-gold-zinc, and stockwork zones for a larger-scale development of copper-gold-zinc.
“Our few drill holes so far are consistently hitting massive sulphide with encouraging base and precious metal content, including [at least] 4% copper,” said KEFI Minerals executive chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams.
“These intersections are over both long horizontal and vertical distances.
“This has been an excellent start to testing what KEFI believes is a large VMS system, which appears potentially analogous to some world class discoveries in the Arabian-Nubian Shield.”
At 0913 GMT, shares in KEFI Minerals were up 5.76% at 1.74p.