TSX-listed African Gold Group’ Andreas Rompel, vice-president for exploration, has confirmed that its 2019 drilling programme has commenced at the Kobada Gold project, in southern Mali.

African Gold Group (AGG) is a Canadian listed exploration and development company with its focus on developing a gold platform in West Africa. Its principal asset is the Kobada project.

The programme is designed to build on the existing mineral resource estimate released in February 2016, which confirmed the strong potential of the project.

This year’s drilling programme covers 15 000m and is dedicated to expanding and upgrading the current resource estimate. At the same time, AGG also plans to explore additional highly prospective areas identified through previous regional exploration programs (Figure 2).

The company said that four drill rigs have been deployed by its partner, AMCO Drilling, to Kobada. In the meantime, the Kobada camp has been revamped and upgraded to cater to the AMCO team. It also confirmed that drilling has already commenced with the first two rigs, and an additional two rigs en-route.

Figure 1: Aerial view of the Kobada concessions

“We expect that the 2019 drilling programme will greatly expand our geological understanding of the overall Kobada gold project and will allow us to demonstrate the true potential of the asset. We are very excited to have started this drilling programme after minor delays caused by the rainy season and we believe that this is a beginning of a new chapter in AGG`s story,” Rompel said.

He added that the company is awaiting the results of this phase of drilling, which will lead to a better defined resource on higher confidence levels and a much improved geological and mineralisation model needed for future target generation.

The 2019 Kobada drilling campaign will focus largely on the Kobada main shear zone, where the potential to rapidly increase the resource appears most favourable. Rompel explained that the  additional information provided by the infill and resource drilling will increase AGG’s overall knowledge and understanding of the resource, expand the resource, assist in the initial pit design and aid in the determination of the mineralogy for processing purposes.

AGG expects this drilling campaign to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, with initial results expected in the fourth quarter 2019.

The drill programme may evolve in response to potential discoveries and continue on the neighbouring yet untested shear zones, which run parallel to the well-known Kobada main shear.

The geological project team, Minxcon, will manage all aspects of this year’s drilling programme under the supervision of the company’s EPCM partner, SENET. The drilling contract has been awarded to AMCO Drilling and sample analysis will be undertaken by SGS SA, with sample preparation carried out in their Bamako facility in order to achieve a quick turn-around time for the assay results.

Figure 2: Planned drillhole locations in the central part of the Kobada Main Shear Zone.

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