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Price highs lure Castle Minerals into Ghanian gold hunt

Castle Minerals managing director Stephen Stone and the company’s geological team checking drillhole collar locations at the Kpali gold project. Credit: File

Castle Minerals (ASX: CDT) has set the stage for a major gold exploration push at its Kpali gold project in the West African Republic of Ghana after unveiling plans for a 3500m drilling blitz to test for extensions of mineralisation defined through a string of impressive past intercepts.

Previous hits at the operation’s Kpali prospect include 22m at 2.85 grams per tonne gold and 17m at 3.4g/t.

The initial 28 drillhole campaign is designed to test for down-dip and strike extensions to wide and high-grade intercepts at the Kali discovery, where a mineral resource totalling 107,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal has already been defined. Other notable intercepts from past drilling include 16m at 3.23g/t gold from just 9m and 10m at 2.84g/t gold from 92m.

A strike length stretching for at least 850m and dipping to a depth of 100m has so far been established at the prospect. The proposed drilling intends to focus on a prospective central trend of the current resource, as Castle looks to gauge Kpali’s credentials for hosting a significant orebody.

Through reprocessed geophysics, the company has also identified several drill-ready gold targets scattered across the group’s 2686-square-kilometre tenure in Ghana. Management believes its wholly-owned project has the potential to host a new major gold camp consisting of one or more large, primary mineralised systems.

With gold prices steadying around recent peak levels, increasing investor interest in the West African gold sector and the Kambale Graphite Project successfully transitioning into the development study phase, it’s appropriate to revisit Castle’s 100 per cent-owned Kpali Gold Project and the several virgin, open-ended discoveries it has made in a location central within one of the world’s most well-endowed gold regions.
Castle Minerals managing director Stephen Stone

Other prospects of note for Castle include the Bundi target just 4km from the Kpali discovery. Past drilling at the site along a 1400m strike returned an eye-catching 1m intercept grading 51g/t gold, coupled with further notable hits such as 6m at 3.32g/t gold from just 37m.

Management says the gold anomalism and near-surface mineralisation already defined across multiple targets provide a path for targeting down-plunge ore shoots, which can extend to several hundred metres in depth. It believes the tenure could host a major gold camp akin to other structurally-controlled orogenic systems in the globally-renowned gold mining district of West Africa.

Some 70 gold deposits with more than 1 million ounces of the metal have already been delineated in the region, including 40 deposits surpassing 3 million ounces each.

More broadly, the tenure boasts a geological focal point characterised by the convergence of two major greenstone belts and three traversing regional-scale structures. Management believes such features are associated with multiple major gold deposits and operating mines in West Africa.

For instance, Castle’s landholding includes about 30km of the Batie West Shear that plays host to the 3.3 million-ounce Konkera gold deposit across the border in Burkina Faso.

Similarly, some 53km of the Bole-Bolgatanga shear zone lies within the company’s tenure. The same structure hosts the 5.1 million-ounce Namdini gold deposit to the north-east of Kpali.

Castle is no stranger to Ghana, with the group continuing to advance its nearby Kambale graphite project towards development. A 22.4 million-tonne resource grading 8.6 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) has been defined at Kambale.

Notably, recent electrochemical testwork suggested that natural flake graphite sourced from the project is suitable for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries and other applications.

Management believes its discoveries present “highly-compelling” scale-up opportunities. And its revitalised focus on gold has opened a new exploration front in Ghana, adding to its works at Kambale, which is moving into development study phase.

Castle’s timing appears to be on the money with the price of gold flirting with all-time highs and a rising appeal in exploration for the metal in the prolific West Africa. It has already delivered some serious intercepts from Kpali and will likely garner plenty of interest when it fires up the drill rig once again for its compelling Ghanaian gold pursuit.

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