Oriole Resources’ (LON: ORR) has secured a controlling stake in Reservoir Minerals Cameroon, with its especially promising early-stage gold exploration licences.
The company has successfully completed a $1.56 million initial two-year funding commitment over two years at northern Cameroon’s Bibemi and Wapouzé projects.
With this achievement, Oriole has formalised its 51% ownership of Reservoir Minerals Cameroon (“RMC”). RMC is a former subsidiary of Bureau d'Etudes et d'Investigations Géologico-minières, Géotechniques et Géophysiques (“BEIG3”).
This major milestone follows first results from drilling at Bibemi last week – proof of concept for the transformational project.
Best results from the first hole – out of a planned 28 – include 1 metre (“m”) grading 4.09 grammes per tonne (“g/t”) gold from zones of quartz-tourmaline veining. Another best grade was 1m grading 0.67 g/t gold from zones of quartz veining.
These results were proof that the orogenic gold system at Bibemi continues to more than 90m below surface.
Oriole chief executive Tim Livesey last week pointed out that Oriole has already seen evidence that there are “much wider” alteration and veining zones in other holes drilled at Bibemi.
Not only that, but he is sure these “will show continued evidence of vertical extension” when it comes to surface anomalies already identified among the early programme’s four priority areas.
Oriole is conducting a maiden diamond drilling programme at Bibemi, with around half the 28 holes complete and additional results due during the rest of the second quarter.
Completing the maiden drilling programme at Bibemi is expected to meet the second earn-in commitment to acquire a 90% interest in RMC, the total spending commitment for which is $3.1 million.
At no extra cost, Oriole has also acquired a 51% interest in RMC’s Mana, Dogon and Sanga licences in central Cameroon.
Once the Bibemi programme is done, BEIG will hold a 10% free-carried interest in all five licences up until the definition of a 50,000 ounce minimum measured and indicated gold resource. Oriole will have the remaining beneficial interest. After that, funding is to be pro rata on a contribute or dilute basis.
These licences, plus five already held via a 90% stake in local subsidiary Oriole Cameroon, form a contiguous land package. This covers an impressive 3,592 square kilometres of “highly prospective geological terrane”.
Already, an orientation study has completed at the licences before the mapping and stream sampling project planned to begin later this quarter. This will be a package-wide programme.
Livesey explained the importance of this latest development, calling the transfer of the 51% stake to Oriole “another key milestone” for the company.
He said the controlling interest in ten total licences, all at varying exploration stages – plus a considerable Central Cameroon footprint – meant Oriole was now “well placed as [a first mover] in this new frontier for gold exploration”.
On Tuesday, after taking the 51% stake, Oriole’s shares were up 4.6% at 0.90p – giving a more than 300% rise from 0.22p the year before.
This has been an exceptionally impressive rise, with the firm’s market cap of close to £14 million equally impressive, considering Oriole has yet to commence gold production for its projects.
This includes the more advanced Senala gold project in Senegal. IAMGOLD has the option to spend $8 million to earn a 70% interest in the project.
Though it underspent in its third year, IAMGOLD and Oriole announced March 23 that the two had reached an agreement to carry forward a $172,000 underspend into year four. IAMGOLD has put forward an approximate £1.8 million fourth year programme.
Senala is in the centre of the Kédougou-Kenieba gold belt, extending from eastern Senegal to western Mali. The belt is the site of numerous major gold discoveries, like Teranga Gold (TSE:TGZ)’s 3.4 million ounce Massawa and 3 million ounce Sabodala deposits in Senegal.
Other discoveries in Kédougou-Kenieba include Barrick Gold’s (NYSE: GOLD) 12 million ounce Loulo and 5.8 million ounce Gounkoto gold projects in Mali.
With so much achieved already in Cameroon and Senegal, Oriole seems poised to deliver on its impressive potential in both.
Author: Anna Farley
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