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African Queen Mines Ltd. has now commenced its Phase 1 exploration programme on the Rongo Gold Field Project in the Kanango gold mining area of the Migori District of Nyanza Province in Southwest Kenya near Lake Victoria.
The work covering Phase I will include: (i) comprehensive rock and soil sampling, trenching and pitting over the license area; (ii) geological mapping and evaluation; and (iii) airbourne geophysical studies. The objective of the Phase 1 exploration programme is to assess the overall geologic structure of the License area and the likelihood of a commercially viable gold deposit within the License area, as well as to identify discreet drill targets for a Phase 2 core drilling programme.
The project is situated some 380km by road from the capital city of Nairobi and 60km N of the border with Tanzania, forming part of the rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt extending from Tanzania and hosting known world-class gold deposits including African Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu and North Mara Mines, within approximately 100km of the project, and AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Mine. The area of the license covers Archaean age metavolcanics and granites of the Nyanzian System within which historical records of gold production are known. The area is situated over the northern contact of the Kinjere Granite with Nyanzian greenstones. Migori, one of the earliest gold mines in Kenya, is situated along the southern contact and has a similar geological setting. Active artisanal mining is presently occurring on the Kamwango area of the license, which has been prioritised for detailed field study.
Field visits and liaisons with all the relevant local governmental bodies and responsible persons have now been completed and the detailed Phase 1 sampling, trenching and pitting programme is now underway on the ground. Supervision and geological mapping and sampling of this area is being conducted by Remote Exploration Services of Cape Town, S.A. (“RES”) who have been responsible for carrying out most of the preceding years’ field work for the company’s projects in Mozambique and Ghana. It is planned to use the trenching and pitting initially for orientation and sampling of the area presently producing artisanal gold. As much of the area is covered by a few meters of recent alluvial material, detailed mapping of the geology has been hampered in the past. African Queen Mines intends to identify potential gold bearing, quartz veined fault structures and drill these zones later this year in order to establish grade, thickness and depth extent of the underlying gold mineralization.
Approval has now been granted by the civil aviation authorities of Kenya (“KCAA”) to commence a detailed airborne geophysical survey and it is expected that flying will commence prior to month-end. The magnetic survey is anticipated to highlight areas of structural interest such as faults and shear zones. Terrascan Airborne GmbH & Co Kg, based in Germany, has been contracted to carry out the survey and has had extensive experience working in remote parts of Africa. Terrascan’s geophysicists will be providing the necessary quality assurance with quality control being provided by Mr. Rainer Wackerle based in Windhoek, Namibia. Mr. Wackerle for many years oversaw quality control for the airborne geophysical surveys completed by the Namibian government through various SYSMIN and related grants.
According to Irwin Olian, African Queen Mines Ltd. CEO, “We are very excited to be commencing our work programmes in Kenya. While the Rongo Gold Field is a highly prospective area on the Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt with potential to host a major deposit, it has to date been underexplored as a result of overburden which largely concealed the mineralized zones below surface. This has created a great opportunity for us to add value and we are now moving forward with our exploration programmes with all due haste. The Kenyan authorities as well as our JV partner Abba have been extremely helpful in providing necessary support and cooperation, with the result that we are already at work on the ground only a few months following consummation of our underlying agreement.”