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Aurum Resources adds powerful new drill rig to African arsenal

Updated: 6 hours ago

Aurum Resources’ new diamond drilling rig will operate at the Boundiali gold project in Cote D’Ivoire. Credit: File.

Aurum Resources has bolstered its African diamond drilling fleet with a new, more powerful rig to help it unlock a maiden gold resource estimate for its Boundiali gold project in in Côte d’Ivoire this year.

The drilling fleet, now at three diamond rigs, will deliver an impressive 30,000m of core as the company takes aim at deep gold mineralisation beneath and adjacent to artisanal mines at the project.

Aurum currently has two diamond-core rigs drilling at Boundiali. It took both rigs in as part of its acquisition of original tenement holder PlusOr Global in December last year.

Last month, the company released the results of assays from the first eight diamond drillholes at Boundiali, which suggested wide, shallow gold mineralisation with some solid grades. The best assays went 16m at 1.24 grams per tonne from 117m including a 6m-thick section grading 2.44g/t from 127m, 7.39m at 1.94g/t from 139.34m including 5.35m at 2.53g/t from 141.37m and 16.3m at 1.02g/t from 86.7m including an 8m chunk going 1.71g/t from 95m.

With the addition of the more powerful Nock 800 rig to our two existing Nock 600 rigs, we are more confident in achieving our 30,000m of diamond drilling in 2024, as we target maiden JORC resources in late 2024. This powerful rig also provides us capacity to test depth gold mineralisation at the Boundiali Gold Project, where our recent drilling and historical drilling data both indicated gold mineralisation extends towards depth in fresh rock under thick gold-bearing oxidised layers. Aurum Resources managing director Dr Caigen Wang

The Boundiali project is made up of two tenements – Boundiali BM and BD – and last month’s results are the first from the now-complete 31-hole, 4877m diamond drilling program at Boundiali BM. Assays from the remaining 23 holes are with the lab and are expected back sometime in this year’s first quarter.

Aurum is now drilling at the Boundiali BD tenement and has begun work on the first of 51 diamond drillholes planned to provide 7145m of core for sampling and assay.  The drill-rate at Boundiali BD will now be boosted through the delivery of the new rig, which is expected to be shipped from Shanghai to Africa next month. 

The project area covers the underexplored southern extension of the Boundiali greenstone belt in Côte d’Ivoire, which is considered prospective for gold and has some big players successfully hunting the yellow metal in neighbouring tenements.

Of note, Perseus Mining has a 1.4-million-ounce gold resource at its Sissingue mine about 50km to the north of Boundiali and 120km to the south, Montage Gold’s Koné project contains 4 million ounces.

Aurum’s newly-appointed exploration manager Yaya Ouattara will be busy, with the delivery of the new rig expected to increase the bulk meterage and assay volume as a flow-on effect. 

Although new to the company, Ouattara is not new to the Côte d’Ivoire gold game, having led the discovery of gold resources at Tietto Minerals’ Abujar gold project in the region and growing it from 700,000 ounces in 2016 to 3.8 million ounces by last year.

Management says it is eyeing a maiden resource for Boundiali late this year, a tantalising thought given those drill intercepts. And the gold price shows no sign of slowing down, sitting at more than $3000 an ounce every day this year.

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