ST HELIER – Caledonia Mining Corporation has announced that it entered into an agreement to purchase the mining claims over the Maligreen project, a property situated in the Gweru mining district in the Zimbabwe Midlands, from Pan African Mining, a privately-owned Zimbabwean company, for a total cash consideration of US$4 million.
The property is estimated to contain a NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource of approximately 940,000 ounces of gold.
Maligreen is a substantial brownfield exploration opportunity with significant historical exploration and evaluation work having been conducted on the property over the last 30 years including:
- An estimated 60,000 meters of diamond core and percussion drilling
- 3.5 tonnes of bulk metallurgical test work
- Aeromagnetic and ground geophysical surveys
As at 31 August 2021, Maligreen is estimated to host a NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource of approximately 940,000 ounces of gold in 15.6 million tonnes at a grade of 1.88g/t. 76% of the inferred mineral resource (approximately 712,000 ounces) is shallower than 220m indicating the potential for an open pit mining operation.
The inferred mineral resource has been estimated using a cut-off grade of 0.4g/t for a potential open pit and 1.5g/t for a potential underground mine. Initial assessments of the inferred mineral resource indicate a favourable grade tonnage curve; by applying a higher cut-off grade of 1.0g/t, the total estimated inferred mineral resource reduces by 12% to approximately 827,000 ounces at a grade of 2.79g/t, a 48% higher grade.
These favourable grade tonnage dynamics offer a high level of flexibility in the evaluation of a future mining operation.
The total land area of Maligreen is approximately 550 hectares comprising two historic open pit mining operations which produced approximately 20,000 oz of gold mined from oxides between 2000 and 2002 after which the operation was closed. Caledonia expects to drill an initial 4,800 meters at an estimated cost of US$1.6 million over a period of 18 to 24 months to improve its understanding of the existing resource and assess the potential for a mining operation.
Further exploration opportunities exist within the claims area and a subsequent exploration programme is under consideration to explore for continuations of the existing inferred mineral resource at depth to the north-west and the strike extension in the northern part of the property.
Commenting on the announcement, Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to enter into this agreement to purchase the claims over Maligreen, one of the more significant exploration opportunities in Zimbabwe. The property has significant potential and has benefitted from many years of exploration activity. Initial evaluation of the inferred mineral resource by our own team and by independent consultants indicates the potential for a significant mining operation with a NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource of almost one million ounces at a grade of 1.88g/t, an acceptable open pit grade. Moreover, our understanding of the grade tonnage curve indicates that the deposit is likely to offer a high level of mining flexibility although much more work is needed in this area. We believe the property also offers significant upside exploration potential at the north-west extensions to the existing inferred mineral resource and at additional exploration targets in the northern part of the property.
“This transaction is an important next step as Caledonia pursues its strategy to become a multi-asset gold producer in Zimbabwe, one of the last gold frontiers in Africa.”