AIM-listed Oriole Resources (LSE: ORR) has reported two new high-grade prospects at its Bibemi gold project in Cameroon. 

Rock-chip sampling of the main Bakassi area revealed best figures of 22.38g/t and 11.68g/t gold at the two new prospects: Lawa East and Lawa West. 

These results were discovered by detailed mapping along strike. They extend the known gold system at Bibemi by 3km to a total of 8.3km with mineralisation open to the south west. 

In its maiden drill operation, Oriole Resources plans to test the new prospects with 8 drill holes starting in January 2021. Results are expected towards the end of Q1 into early Q2 next year. 

Along with three further planned drill holes at Bakassi Zone 1, the maiden diamond drill programme has now been expanded by 11 holes to a total of 28 drill holes across 3,080 metres.

In October 2020, the company raised £1.9m — more than half its market cap at the time — to progress its two Cameroon gold projects, Bibemi and Wapouzé. The same month, Oriole successfully renewed its licenses for both projects.

The exciting exploration opportunity lies in the north-east of the central African country, near the borders with Chad and Nigeria. In total, Bibemi and Wapouzé cover 380km2 of neoproterozoic Pan-African greenstone belts. 

These are the types of rock structures proven to host world-class, high-grade gold systems across the continent. In fact, one of the world’s best-known gold-producing greenstone belts is Barberton, the site of South Africa’s first gold discovery. 

Bibemi represents the larger of the two opportunities with over 200km2 to explore.

Sampling taken in Q3 2018 from the Bakassi area at Bibemi revealed exciting grades including 135.4g/t gold. 

The company is exercising its option to acquire a 51% interest in the two highly-prospective projects. Oriole Resources has now met its financial and work commitments on time and on schedule under the terms of its JV with local partner BEIG3.

Former exploration manager at the world’s second-largest gold explorer Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD) Tim Livesey is the Oriole Resources CEO. He said he was delighted to see quality new results at Bibemi adding more than 55% of the total maiden drill area planned to date.

He said: 

We are extremely encouraged by the discovery of further mineralised veins to the south west of the Bakassi zones, which have returned results of up to 22.38 g/t Au. 

"The continued presence of high-grade gold mineralisation confirms the prospectivity of the Bibemi project, now outside of the central Bakassi area where we had already planned a 20-hole diamond drilling programme

"Each progressive programme at Bibemi has returned yet more evidence of gold mineralisation and continues to support our exploration model and our early ideas on the structural controls on the mineralising system.”

Despite some Covid-19 related delays, the Oriole Resources drilling rig is now on track to arrive on site in late December 2020.

Work is also continuing at Wapouzé where engineers are investigating Oriole’s initial discovery of a 13km gold anomaly with a pilot trenching campaign. 

Author: Mark Sheridan

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