Mandiana-Magana

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The Mandiana-Magana gold project in Mandiana Province, northeast Guinea, covers an area of 127 sq. km. within the prolific Siguiri Basin (44 million ounces gold).  The project is adjacent to and just across the Sankarani River from Gold Fields’ Yanfolila gold project in Mali which was originally identified by SMA’s Exploration Director, John Barry, for Glencar Mining (AIM) in 2003 and now has a reported resource of 3.35 million ounces gold.  The project area is underlain by highly prospective Birimian metasediments similar to rocks hosting AngloGold Ashanti’s Siguiri mine (6.5 million ounces) as well as Yanfolila and many other important gold deposits in the region.

The Mandiana-Magana project area has been the site of intense artisanal gold mining activity, believed to have been carried out intermittently from the 19th century to the present time, but has seen no modern exploration activity.  SMA geological teams have identified more than 9,000 artisanal pits, some interconnected at varying depths up to 30 meters within saprolite, defining the surface trace of the important, northwest-trending Yagbelen and Woyondjan gold-bearing zones, and numerous smaller zones, which can be clearly seen from satellite imagery.

Mapping by the Company’s geological team led by Dr. Yury Deryugin has outlined over 100 old and recent orpaillage sectors targeting primary, colluvial and alluvial gold mineralization.  SMA’s focus has been on the principal Yagbelen and Woyondjan zones of primary gold mineralization which are defined by  over 9,000 shallow pits and diggings and can be traced intermittently for more than 8 km within the concession.  Geologic mapping, rock sampling of pits and grid soil sampling within the main Yagbelan and Woyondjan orpaillage areas in the south part of the concession have outlined gold-bearing zones with values up to 11.65 gpt in rocks and 5000 ppb in soils.  Gold mineralization is associated with multiple quartz veins and linear stockworks believed controlled by district-scale, north to northwest-trending shear structures.

Two phases of drilling have been completed at Mandiana-Magana and confirm wide intervals of significant gold mineralization within the Yagbelen and Woyondjan zones.  The initial phase, 21 reverse circulation holes (3009 metres) and 4 core holes (313 metres), was carried out in November-December 2011 and includes intercepts of 2.58 gpt gold along 14 metres in RCY-11 at Yagbelen and 1.99 gpt gold along 24 metres in RCW-21 at Woyondjan.  All holes bottomed in oxidized saprolite at vertical depths up to 120 metres.  Full results are reported in the Company’s announcement of 23 January 2012 (link to announcement).  The second phase of drilling was completed in early April, 2012 and included 35 reverse circulation holes (4590 metres) and diamond core tails on 3 holes (328 metres).  This program was designed to extend Yagbelen and Woyondjan gold mineralization indicated in earlier drilling along strike and at depth below the zone of weathering.  Full assay results on the second phase drill holes are here.