Pan African has secured five exploration licences in north-eastern Sudan (the Block 12 concessions) – covering an area of almost 1 100km2.

The Block 12 Concessions is located approximately 70km northwest of Port Sudan. Pan Africanwas awarded the licences by Sudan’s Ministry of Minerals for a period of three years, with the option to renew for a further two years.

Block 12 and the exploration programme

The Block 12 concession areas were selected following a detailed due diligence analysis by Pan African’s technical team, which included site reconnaissance visits in Sudan and detailed desktop studies, which were used to inform the company’s exploration strategy.

Ten initial target areas have been identified for further exploration, based on the size, extent of artisanal workings, presence of alluvial workings and associated tailings, prospectivity and upside potential. Block 12 is located on the same suture zone as the Hassai Gold Mine, which is the largest gold producer in Sudan, with historic production of some 0.1 Moz per year. On 31 December 2011, the previous operators of the Hassai Gold Mine reported Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves of 5.5Mt grading 2.3g/t, with Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 6.5Mt, grading 2.5g/t and Inferred Mineral Resources of 2.8Mt, grading 2.8g/t.

The company’s concession areas are sparsely populated and arid, with rugged topography in places, varying between 100m and 1 750m above sea level. Block 12 has undergone limited modern exploration in the past, which consisted mainly of soil and grab samples, channel sampling and trenching on a few targets, and shallow drilling.

Exploration activities in Sudan are expected to commence in the second calendar quarter of 2022 to verify the results for the initial identified targets and endeavour to identify additional targets. The Group has embarked on a phased approach for its exploration work programmes, with the budgeted expenditure allocated for the first financial year estimated at US$2.5 million.

Geology and mineralisation

Block 12 is located within the ANS, where gold has been mined for over 5,000 years. The ANS formed during the Pan African orogeny that occurred between 500 million and 900 million years ago (Ma) and consists of a number of terrains that are separated by suture zones which are represented by wide shear zones. Pan African’s concession area straddles the NSZ, a structure that is host to the Hassai Gold Mine, which exploits a number of Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits and quartz veins. The area is dominantly underlain by metamorphosed volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, as well as a number of intrusive phases including syn-orogenic diorites and late-stage orogenic granite.

Styles of gold mineralisation

Alluvial/placer gold: These deposits are currently being worked by artisanal miners as the gold is easily extracted from the alluvial sands, having been liberated from in situ gold veins by mechanical breakdown from weathering.

Orogenic gold and VMS: This orogenic gold mineralisation is associated with narrow, sub-vertical quartz veins(typically 10cm to 100cm wide) and may extend for tens or even hundreds of metres. Gold values are reportedly high and crushing and panning operations observed in the field confirm these reports. Three principle mineralised trends have been identified in the concession areas, where the quartz vein sets form as a number of widely spaced individual veins that would lend themselves to shallow underground mining, while the broader mineralised zones observed may represent potential open-cast targets.

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