ABIDJAN – Endeavour Mining plc has announced that a major discovery has been made at its 100%-owned Tanda-Iguela greenfield exploration property in Côte d’Ivoire. The Tanda-Iguela property has the potential to be another flagship asset for Endeavour, given the size of the maiden resource and its significant exploration potential as 10 additional nearby targets have been identified.
Significant exploration potential exists at the Assafou deposit since it is open along strike in both directions and at depth. The delineated Indicated resource encompasses only 20% of the identified mineralised system which covers an area three kilometres long by 350 metres wide. As such, an aggressive exploration drilling campaign is scheduled to begin in 2023, with an additional 50,000 metres expected to be conducted on the Assafou deposit, compared to the 58,000 metres of drilling, which formed the basis of the maiden resource calculation.
In addition, a drilling programme of 20,000 metres is planned to test the additional nearby targets identified to date. These efforts are expected to yield an updated resource estimate in 2023 and increase the overall geological understanding of the area.
Sébastien de Montessus, President and CEO commented: “We are thrilled with the maiden resource at our Tanda-Iguela greenfield property in Côte d’Ivoire. It ranks as one of the most significant discoveries made in West Africa over the last decade and shows potential to be another flagship asset for the company.
This discovery builds on our recent success discovering the Lafigué project, where construction was recently launched, and reinforces our ability to organically source our project pipeline through ongoing exploration success. Additionally, this discovery showcases West Africa’s geological potential, which is a key reason behind its rapid growth into the largest gold producing region globally. As the largest gold producer in West Africa, we have developed a strong competitive advantage in the region, strategically positioning us to continue to unlock value over the long term.
With this new important discovery and exploration success across our portfolio, we are well on track to achieve our target of discovering between 15 to 20 million ounces for the 5-year period ending in 2025.”
Patrick Bouisset, Executive Vice President Exploration and Growth said: “After securing long mine lives at our flagship mines through brownfield exploration, we were excited to significantly increase our focus on greenfield exploration this year, with the goal of feeding our project pipeline following the commencement of construction at Lafigué.
Following promising drill results late last year, Tanda-Iguela quickly became a stronger strategic focus in 2022, and we were able to quickly shift our efforts to accelerate its drilling by leveraging our presence and competitive advantage in the region. As such, we are thrilled to have quickly delineated a maiden resource of 1.1Moz at Indicated status and a further 1.9Moz at Inferred status, following our first significant drilling campaign on the asset, at an industry low discovery cost of less than $10 per Indicated ounce.
Significant exploration potential exists on the Tanda-Iguela property with the Assafou deposit located over a structural trend extending over 15 kilometres and remaining open in all directions with at least 10 additional exploration targets identified nearby. To both delineate further resources at Assafou and test new targets, we are preparing to launch an aggressive 70,000-metre drilling programme next year.
Based on the initial analysis of the ore characteristics and orebody shape, we believe it should be amenable to open pit mining as mineralisation starts at surface, whilst preliminary metallurgical test work done to date suggests the potential for very high gold recovery rates. The geological context, coupled with the occurrence of greater than 30-metre thick high grade intercepts at depth, also suggests the possibility for future underground mining potential.”
The Tanda-Iguela property is located in the Eastern part of Côte d’Ivoire within the Boundounkou Birimian greenstone belt, approximately 400 kilometres to the Northeast of Abidjan and 30 kilometres from the border with Ghana.