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Aurum Resources stretches African gold ground with new strategic deal

Updated: 5 days ago

Aurum Resources signing an agreement with Geb & Nut Resources to expand its West African gold ground. Credit: File

Aurum Resources (ASX: AUE) has added extra punch to its Boundiali gold project in northern Côte d'Ivoire, adding more ground to the north of the West African operation that last week recorded a glittering hit of 90m at 1.16 grams per tonne gold.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Plusor Global, Aurum can earn up to 70 per cent in the adjacent ground – which will be now known as the “BN” tenement” – after signing an agreement with local Ivorian company Geb & Nut Resources and a related party (GNRR).

The new ground embraces structurally important northerly strike extensions of a gold-mineralised corridor the company identified during extensive exploration of its existing and adjacent “BD” tenement that sits immediately south of BN. It covers an area of almost 209 square kilometres and is subject to renewal under the terms of the nation’s mining code.

Management says that following the anticipated grant of a new exploration licence, Aurum and GNRR would jointly conduct systematic exploration of the tenement.

To kick off the deal, Aurum will be required to stump up US$1.2 million (AU$1.8 million) worth of exploration expenditure to earn a 35 per cent interest within 36 months of the licence being granted. It would then need to spend a further US$2.5 million (AU$3.76 million) within 60 months to bump its interest up to 51 per cent.

A third stage will require Aurum to complete a prefeasibility study (PFS) on the tenement to establish its 70 per cent holding. Once the mining exploitation licence has been granted, the remainder of the ownership structure would see GNRR hold 20 per cent and the Ivorian Government would have 10 per cent.

Aurum has also agreed to pay US$30,000 (A$45,150) to GNRR within 10 working days. Diamond drilling expenses have been estimated at US$140 (A$210) per metre.

This partnership with Geb & Nut Resources is a significant step in expanding our footprint at Boundiali with the addition of the exciting Boundiali North tenement. Our existing knowledge of the region's geology and mineralization will be invaluable as we explore BN. We are grateful for GNRR's confidence in our exploration capabilities and eager to unlock the potential of this highly promising tenement. The addition of this new joint venture project strengthens our belief in the potential for discovering a multi-million-ounce gold resource at Boundiali
Aurum Resources managing director Dr Caigen Wang

The company’s exploration in the south-adjoining BD ground is well-advanced, with initial close-spaced soil sampling identifying the 13km-by-3km mineralised corridor that encloses extensive soil-gold anomalism above 30 parts per billion gold and up to at least 100ppb.

Its follow-up work has entailed 91 reverse-circulation (RC) drillholes for 6229m that defined three targets (BD 1, 2 and 3), which it is currently testing. Last week, 57 diamond drillholes were reported to have been plunged into the three targets for almost 10,684m.

To date, the BD 1 target has been defined as being 1.3km long by 1km wide and drilling is continuing, with two recent step-back holes confirming the gold system is open and continues at depth. This is supported by wide gold intercepts in the deepest holes drilled to date, reaching 60m down-dip from previous results that include 73m going 2.15g/t gold from 172m.

Aurum’s entire Boundiali project, including the new BN ground, comprises four neighbouring exploration tenements. It includes the north-south-elongated, 400sq-km “BM” ground where it is earning up to 80 per cent through Plusor and the 260sq-km “BD” ground where it already holds an 80 per cent share.

Also, the company's 167.34sq-km Boundiali South tenement (“BST”) sits about 8km south of the previous two tenements and is currently subject to renewal. Aurum has the opportunity to acquire 100 per cent of the ground if it secures the renewal, or the granting of a replacement tenement.

Boundiali sits in the same greenstone belt as the 11.5 million-ounce Syama and 1 million-ounce Sissingué gold mines, 164km and 120km to the north of Boundiali, respectively. Additionally, the 5 million-ounce Tongon gold project lies 82km to the north-east and the 4.5 million-ounce Montage Gold Koné project is about 120km to the south.

Management says it plans to continue its aggressive exploration of Boundiali with ongoing scout drilling and assay results expected shortly. It is well-funded, with a cash balance of about $6 million and it is on track to deliver an inaugural resource estimate before the end of the year.

Recently reported diamond drill results show extensive strings of gold mineralisation with long intercepts and often high and even exceptional grades.

Aurum has met the siren call of the precious yellow metal by adding a third diamond drill rig to its company-owned fleet, lifting its potential meterage production from 2600m per month to some 4000m per month.

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