Kiaka Gold Project
Location and Background
The Kiaka Gold Project is located in south central Burkina Faso, approximately 120 kilometres southeast of the capital Ouagadougou. The closest town is Gogo, approximately 15 kilometres from the provincial capital of Manga.
The Kiaka Gold Project lies at the intersection of the northeast striking Tenkodogo greenstone belt and the regionally significant north striking Markoye Fault, in whose proximity some of the larger gold resources discovered in Burkina Faso so far, have been discovered. These include Iamgold's Essakane deposit (6.1 M oz), Severstal's Taparko deposit (1.7 M oz), Orezone's Bombore deposit (3.5 M oz) and Endeavour's Youga deposit (1.1 M oz).
The Kiaka Gold Project includes the Kiaka gold deposit acquired from Randgold Resources in October 2009 for a consideration of 20 million shares of Volta Resources and C$4 million. Volta commenced work in November 2009 and has sustained an aggressive drilling campaign aimed at fast tracking the deposit to development and production.
The Kiaka exploration permit covers an area of 183.80 km2, and was granted to Randgold Resources on 17th June 2004 for a period of 3 years by arête No2004/00/083/ MCE/SG/DGMGC. On 13 August 2007 the permit was renewed for the first time for a period of 3 years by the arête No2007/ 07/116/ MCE/SG/DGMGC. The permit was for renewed again in June 2010 for another 3 years. The license is now held in a wholly-owned Burkina Faso subsidiary of Volta Resources Inc., Kiaka Gold SARL. A local company (GEP Minerals) owns a 10% interest which is carried to the feasibility stage, where after they will participate with Volta assisting GEP to secure project financing.
In February 2012 Volta announced that it had signed a Permit Exchange Agreement with Randgold Resources whereby Volta is exchanging one permit in Burkina Faso (Kampti) and two in Mali (Massabougou and Diele) for eight of Randgold's permits in Burkina Faso (Daworo, Tiakane, Bourou, Basgana, Yibogo, Safoula, Nakomgo and Tanema) nearby, and contiguous to, Volta Resources' Kiaka permit.
Volta completed an aggressive drilling program comprising >112,000 metres by March 2012, producing a NI43-101 compliant resource comprising 4,029,000 ounces in the Measured and Indicated category and 1,000,000 ounces in the Inferred category. These are tabulated below:
Drilling indicates a wide (up to 250m) ore body which contains discrete yet continuous higher grade zones that can be traced from section to section. The low grade halo mineralization has been determined using a cut-off grade of 0.6g/t and the higher grade mineralized bands at a cut-off of 1.0g/t. The resources were calculated by SRK Consultants (UK) down to an average depth of less than 425 metres below surface and are constrained within a Whittle pit derived using a gold price of US$1,400 per ounce and realistic cost input parameters.
The following table quotes the total resources at incremental cut-off grades from 0.0g/t to 1.4g/t.
Data quality, drill hole spacing and the interpreted continuity of grades controlled by the geological structure have allowed SRK to classify the majority of the deposit as an Indicated Mineral Resource, with a significant proportion of Measured Mineral Resources towards the surface, and deeper parts of the main corridor, strike extents and flanking structures have largely been classified as Inferred Mineral Resources.
The Kiaka Gold Project is located at the intersection of the regionally significant Markoye Fault corridor and the Tenkodogo Belt, one of the 2300 -- 2180 Ma Birimian greenstones belts that are host to several world-class gold deposits in West Africa (see location map). Significantly, the Essakan, Bombore, Taparko and Youga deposits all occur close to the Markoye Fault.
From west to east, the lithologies at Kiaka are dominated by intercalated quartz mica garnet schist, quartz feldspar schist, amphibolites, quartz biotite schist and localized graphitic units. These are fine to medium grained metamorphic rocks after pelitic or semi-pelitic sediments origin, which was regionally metamorphosed in the amphibolites facies and later retrogressed under lower green schist facies. The lithologies are predominantly NE trending and are intruded by deformed porphyries and some gabbroic bodies in the northern and southern parts of the system. Late mafic sills like bodies intruded the middle of the target. These late intrusives are none-deformed, un-mineralized and introducing some waste material within the ore zone.
The controlling structures are predominantly oriented NE and sub parallel to the geology. Frequent micro folds fabrics, structural measurements and stereographic plots indicated that the target is associated with tight folds system and shearing.
The schistosity observed is quite penetrative and affect all the lithologies. Narrow quartz veins are usually intersected. It is interpreted that NS sinsitral shears have caused reactivation of primary NE bedding parallel structures, resulting in dilation zones and subsequent gold mineralization at Kiaka. There is also no particular lithological control to the Kiaka mineralization style, however, areas of highest lithological contrast present better host for gold mineralization.
There are four mineralised zones recognized at Kiaka. From NW to SE, these include KHZ, KIZ, KMZ and KFZ. The KMZ provides the largest target for resource ounces as it attains widths in excess of 200m in places and averages over 130m over the strike extent drilled to date.
Gold mineralization at Kiaka is low grade, associated with broad alteration system (silica-biotite-chlorite), and pyrrhotite (85%), fine pyrite (9%), and arsenopyrite (4%), with no real correlation between gold grade and percentage of sulphides. These sulphides can be disseminated or following the fabrics. Petro graphic studies found gold mainly in inclusion in metamorphic minerals (hornblende, biotite, etc) suggesting that the gold mineralization event have been originally introduced either pre-metamorphic or during the early stages of the main metamorphic event with subsequent remobilization during a shearing event. It appears that the higher grade zones can be defined within the broad low grade halo and these can be correlated with retrograde metamorphic assemblages.
Randgold completed fairly extensive regional exploration programs at Kiaka since the identification of the target by regional lithosampling. This has involved detail geological and regolith mapping, soil geochem, pitting, trenching, drilling (RAB, RC, DDH), petrography studies, ground magnetics, rock density, as well some metallurgical test work and geological modelling.
A total of six regional prospects have been identified, of which Kiaka remains the only one to have been drilled to any significant degree. Randgold completed a total 11 trenches (2,450m) were excavated over the deposit, spaced at 100m to 200m. In addition they excavated 247 pits for a total aggregate depth of 931.5m, were excavated over 7 lines where regolith issues were complex. In addition, a RAB drilling program was completed at Kiaka with 260 heel to toe holes for a total of 4,401m.
Randgold also undertook RC and Diamond drilling over the main deposit to a spacing of mostly 100m between fences. This included: 11 RC holes for 1,125m, 24 diamond holes for 7,873.5m drilled in four phases almost covering the entire strike of 3km of gold mineralization defined in the hanging hole and the main zone.
Volta has focussed most of its drilling in the Central Area at Kiaka and a few holes have been drilled in the South Area. The total number of holes completed up to the end of June 2011 by Volta is 365 holes (64,572m).
Metallurgy and Petrography
Both and Volta have undertaken petro graphic and metallurgical studies on Kiaka ores to study the alteration, mineralization, rocks type and their relationship to gold mineralization. Petro graphic work suggested that the gold is generally located on grain boundaries and fractures and therefore ores are unlikely to be refractory. There were also no preg-robbing components identified.
A summary of recoveries suggested following metallurgical test work done to date is tabulated below:
Additional metallurgical test work is currently being conducted at SGS laboratories in Johannesburg to refine the choice of processing options, including; high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) crushing, gravity concentration, sulphide flotation and cyanidation.
A budget of just under $20 million has been approved for the Kiaka project in 2012. This work will include the commencement of a Feasibility Study as well as further drilling to be undertaken on nearby targets including the South Area and the North Area. Auger drilling will be undertaken to follow up existing geochemical and geophysical anomalies in complex regolith areas on the Niagho-Gozi prospect which is located in the north of the Kiaka license. This will be followed by a RC drilling program. Volta plans to issue a maiden resource on its newly discovered high grade South Area in Q3, 2012.
The budget also includes a provision for extensive metallurgical test work as discussed above. Social and environmental studies will continue with a view to complete a full Environmental & Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA").
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