Fleurette’s SMB completes first phase of gold exploration in DR Congo

Fleurettes SMB completes first phase of gold exploration in DR CongoFleurette Group has announced that its joint venture with SOKIMO, Société Minière de Moku-Beverendi (SMB), has completed the first phase of its gold exploration activities at the Moku-Beverendi project in DR Congo

The Moku-Beverendi project covers an area of 1,270 sq km in a remote region of north-east DR Congo and adjoins areas currently being developed as part of the Kibali Gold Project by Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti, Fleurette said.

SMB is a joint venture between Moku Goldmines, which is 97 per cent owned by Fleurette, and SOKIMO, the DR Congo state-owned mining company.

Moku Goldmines owns 65 per cent of SMB, while SOKIMO holds 35 per cent.

Karim Robo, CEO of SMB, said, “When we acquired the licences in 2011, it was clear the licence areas had been underinvested and underexplored. We have worked quickly to identify our target areas and complete the first phase of our exploratory drilling programme.”

According to Fleurette, the first phase of exploration has identified several mineralised targets which have the potential for open pit and/or underground mining. Initial analysis shows Moku-Beverendi has the potential for almost 142,000kg of gold at a range of average grades up to 6.25 grams per tonne, the company said.

The second phase of exploration is due to begin in January 2014 and will involve intensifying drilling with diamond drilling core in the target areas and further analysis, Fleurette said.

The company added it aims to achieve a Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects by Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) and National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant inferred resource by the end of 2014.

According to Fleurette, the exploration expenditure of the second phase is estimated to cost US$16.5mn, bringing the total project costs by the end of 2014 to US$51mn.

“This is an extremely challenging and exciting project; however we remain very optimistic about the opportunity that exists in the region and our exploration activities are well on track,” Robo said.

SMB has also invested in a number of local community projects as part of Fleurette’s commitment to investing in social projects in DR Congo.

These include investing in a local radio station, donations towards seeds for local farmers and the rehabilitation of the road from Watsa to the Moku-Beverendi project, the main transport artery to Kisangani.

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