project development stepped up
Australian mining group Sub-Sahara Resources
said yesterday that its joint venture partner Sunridge Gold Corp has agreed to
increase its 2004 budget to $3,5-million to substantially expand and accelerate
the Asmara copper/gold project.
The Asmara project consists of four tenements, immediately outside the Eritrean
capital city of Asmara.
Based on previous mining and exploration activity, the ground covered by the
tenements is an excellent geological environment for hosting copper/gold-rich
volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) type deposits, as well as primary
shear-controlled gold mineralisation.
The Debarwa copper/gold project was the subject of a positive full feasibility
study and significant development work during the 1970s by Ethio-Nippon Mining
and this work included the sinking of a 136-m shaft, underground development
and the extraction of a 2 000 t bulk sample.
While most of this data is extant, the venture partners believe the planned increased
expenditure will allow the completion of resource definition drilling, as well
as exploration drilling at the high-grade copper/gold Debarwa deposit in order
to complete a scoping study and extend the original historic resource base.
In addition, substantial exploration will be conducted over other known VMS
prospects, colonial mines, and new gold and VMS targets identified by the
recent project wide airborne electromagnetic (EM) geophysical survey.
The new work programme will include extensive drilling, soil sampling and
trenching, as well as first pass exploration of at least eight primary targets
and 12 secondary VMS-style targets generated by the extensive EM geophysical
The outline for each tenement is as follows: “Sub-Sahara views the expanded
budget from Sunridge as a strong commitment to a very exciting project, with
excellent potential; and during this expenditure phase, Sunridge will have
earned a 40% interest in the project, having funded the minimum of $2,4-million
in exploration expenditure,” Sub-Sahara said in a statement.