Located in south-eastern Senegal, the 472.5 sq km Senala licence is positioned in the centre of the Birimian-age Kédougou-Kenieba gold belt that extends from eastern Senegal into western Mali and has already seen multiple major gold discoveries including Terranga’s Massawa (3.4 million oz Au) and Sabodala deposits (3 million oz Au) in Senegal, and Barrick’s Loulo (12 million oz Au) and Gounkoto projects (5.76 million oz Au) in Mali. IAMGOLD has the option to earn a 70% interest by spending US$8m.
The Company own 85% of Senala (formerly known as Dalafin) through its Senegal-registered joint-venture company Stratex EMC S.A., formed in partnership with private local company Energy & Mining Corporation S.A. (EMC) that holds the remaining 15%.
To date, four main geochemical targets, Faré, Baytilaye, Saroudia, and Madina Bafé, have been confirmed by drilling.
IAMGOLD Option Agreement
In March 2018 the Company signed an option earn-in agreement with a subsidiary of IAMGOLD under which IAMGOLD can earn into 51% of the Senala project by spending US$4m over four years and a further 19% (total 70%) by spending an additional US$4m over a subsequent two years. To date IAMGOLD has spent a total of c.US$1.5 million and must spend a further US$1 million during Year 3 to keep the option in good standing.
Faré is the most advanced prospect within the Senala licence and the Company believes it has potential to host a standalone deposit. Best results to date at Faré include 20m grading 31.13 g/t Au including 10m grading 60.98 g/t Au from RC drilling (FARC-00007) and 59.60m grading 2.20 g/t Au and 49.50m grading 1.75 g/t Au from diamond drilling (FADD-00004).
During Q1-2016, 1,136 soil samples were collected across four 250 m x 50 m grids in the vicinity of the Faré South Zone to assess possible SW-trending extensions, as well as the importance of a NNW-trending breccia zone identified during the Phase 2 RC drilling campaign. The most significant results yielded were from Grid 3, which clearly show south-westward extension of the Faré South anomaly (>30 ppb) by at least 750 metres and up to 600 m in width. A possible new gold anomaly (10-60 ppb) has also been identified in Grid 1, extending 1,250 m in a NW-SE direction, and this may correlate with NW-trending structures identified elsewhere in the licence area. Multiple, albeit less distinct, NE- and NW-trends are also evident in Grid 4, with a number of samples yielding 30-60 ppb and >60 ppb.
A 6,901m aircore (‘AC’) drilling programme has recently been completed to better-define the geochemical footprint of the mineralisation. Results have reaffirmed the overall orientation of the mineralisation and the tenor of the anomalism previously defined by the soil sampling. A total of 1,344 samples were collected and analysed for gold and multi-elements and have confirmed significant anomalism (>30ppb Au), with best grades of 0.62 g/t Au, 0.64 g/t Au and 2.58 g/t Au returned from Faré North.
IAMGOLD has proposed a year four exploration budget of c.US$1.8m that will be used to undertake a two-phase work programme. Phase 1 will focus on Faré, with 5,000m RC drilling in 42 holes planned to follow-up on the strongest AC anomalies. A total of three RC fences have been planned at the Faré North sub-prospect; two to the northeast and one to the southwest of previous drilling by the Company. A further two fences are planned for the Faré Far South sub-prospect, where the AC drilling returned a strong and coherent gold anomaly coincident.
Subject to the results of the RC drilling, c.400m diamond drilling is also planned for Phase 1 to test the best new target. Two further holes of 200m and 400m, respectively, are also planned to test the depth extension of the main mineralised zone at Faré South as defined by the historic drilling. It is anticipated that these programmes will commence as soon as the required forest permit is received. Completion of Phase 1 is scheduled by the end of Q2-2021, with results expected in the following quarter.
Multiple further zones of gold anaomalism have been identified within the wider licence, most notably at Madina Bafé, located c.50km to the SSE of Faré. Initial programmes of trenching, mapping, and sampling at Madina Bafé confirmed the presence of a 1.2 km by 30-45 m NE-striking mineralised zone in the south-east of the prospect. Mineralisation is hosted by sheeted tourmaline-quartz veins and quartz-tourmaline breccias with best results including 4.0 m @ 1.40 g/t Au (MBT-005), 6.0 m @ 0.86 g/t Au incl. 1.0 m @ 4.40 g/t Au (MBT-005),1.2 m @ 1.14 g/t Au (MTB-003) and 1.0 m @ 1.77 g/t Au. Mineralisation remains open to the east. RC and diamond drilling between trenches MBT-003 and MBT-004 has previously returned excellent intersections – including 9.6 m @ 16.08 g/t Au (MBDD-002) – that are indicative of depth-continuity of the zone and of elevated gold content.
Given its location, just 10km to the west of the 2.5Moz Boto mine development project, exploration of Madina Bafé has been a key focus for IAMGOLD. In 2018, it completed a 2,428 m AC drilling programme. Vertical holes were drilled to intersect the bedrock interface in order to assess the geochemical signature of the bedrock, help depict alteration corridors and mineralisation trends, and define targets for follow-up deeper drilling. Results have outlined a 1.5km broadly WNW-trending gold anomaly (>20ppb) in the south-east of the prospect at the contact between a granite/granodiorite unit and sediments, with best results including 2.48 g/t Au and 0.66 g/t Au. The gold anomalism is coincident with strong bismuth (>0.5ppm) and molybdenum (>3 ppm) anomalism which may reflect intersections with NE trending structures.
A second, 400m N-S anomaly (>20ppb) has been defined c.600m to the NNW of Oriole RC drillhole MRC117, which returned 15m @ 6.10 g/t Au, and correlates well with previous surface sampling. Based on the structural interpretation, this zone appears to mark the intersection of NE- and E-W trending faults. Results from a follow-up 2,260m reverse circulation (RC) and 507m diamond (DD) drilling programme have confirmed that the mineralisation continues at depth, delivering a best intersection of 8 m at 2.56 g/t Au (MBDD-013).
In 2019, IAMGOLD completed a further 4,167m (of a planned 5,000m) AC drilling to extend the 2018 grid to the north. Results for 869 holes identified multiple new >20 ppb Au anomalies, including a 3.5km long anomaly in the south of the prospect and a 2km long anomaly in the north, apparently related to cross-cutting zones of higher-grade (>50 ppb Au) anomalism. Best results include 235 ppb Au, 157 ppb Au, 138 ppb Au, 104 ppb Au and 99 ppb Au.
Now in year four of its earn in, recent artisanal activity in the immediate vicinity of holes MBDD-002 and MBDD-013 has encouraged IAMGOLD to further-investigate the southeast corner of the prospect. Scheduled to immediately follow the drilling at Faré, a ‘Phase 2’ progamme of 5,000 m of RC drilling in 50 holes is planned to test the northeast corridor within which those holes lie, with 600 m diamond drilling in two holes planned to re-assess the previous high-grade intersection reported from hole MBDD-002.
IAMGOLD reserves the right to redirect the Phase 2 funding to undertake follow-up work at Faré.