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Tanga adds new African gold exploration play

Tanga Resources has picked up what could potentially be a transformational bounty of acquisitions spanning 3,308 square kilometres in Côte d’Ivoire. The tenements, inside the country’s prolific greenstone gold belt which hosts multiple million-ounce deposits, provides the company with an 80 per cent interest in three separate joint venture areas, including the Bouaflé project, where historic drill intercepts have included 8m at 18 g/t from 116m downhole.

The ASX listed company has signed a share sale and purchase agreement with Capital DI Ltd to acquire its subsidiary, Glomin Services which secures for Tanga an 80 per cent interest in three gold projects in the West African country. Combined, the exploration ground covers 3,038 square kilometres of prospective greenstone ground, held within three separate joint venture areas.

The Bouaflé project was previously drilled by Newcrest between 2011 and 2013 and comes with a comprehensive geochemical data base over 1,000 aircore and RC drill holes, and 9 diamond holes for a total of almost 60 kilometres of drilling.

Other eye-catching hits in the Bouaflé leases include 18m at 2.4 g/t gold from 107m downhole and 15m at 2.0 g/t gold from 136m. One of the shallower hits returned 10m at 1.2 g/t gold from 42m, including 5m at 2.3 g/t gold from 55m downhole.

The Bouaflé Project comprises the Bouaflé North and Bouaflé South licences and covers 742 square kilometres of the newly acquired land holding. The licences are located on the Bouaflé greenstone belt, only 25 kilometres west of the developing Yaouré gold deposit which is owned by Perseus Mining and contains 2.1Moz of gold at an average 1.37 g/t, including an underground resource of 595koz at an average 6.2 g/t gold.

Management said applications for the Bouaflé project licences are pending with the Direction Générale des Mines et de la Géologie and which were previously held by Newcrest Limited between 2010 and 2014. The company believes it has multiple drill-ready targets along strike and down-dip from the existing mineralisation.

Adding to the newly acquired bounty, The Mankono project area covers three exploration licences; Mankono West, Mankono East and Tieningboue for a total area of 1,170 square kilometres. Tanga said it has a similar historical data base fed by more than 23,370m of drilling intersecting mineralisation over a 10km strike length, with much of the historical work also carried out by Newcrest.

The third joint venture area of Issia and Bocanda may be considered a little more speculative given the absence of any historical data suggesting both are less developed than the other two project areas. However, the areas were spotlighted by a proprietary system provided by ASX-listed Predictive Discovery called “Predictor” which has some form in the region, correctly targeting a number of other discoveries in Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Guinea using the same technique.

Tanga Resources’ Executive Director, Chris van Wijk said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to acquire such a significant tenement package in Côte d’Ivoire, a country hosting over 30% of West Africa’s Birimian greenstone belts but vastly underexplored compared to neighbouring countries.”

“The tenement package is highly prospective, with previous work having identified multiple drill ready targets. 1,150km2 of tenements were identified by PDI, using their proprietary techniques to identify exploration projects, which have resulted in at least three virgin gold discoveries in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea in the last seven years.”

“The acquisition positions Tanga with a high-quality portfolio of gold exploration projects in Côte d’Ivoire where we are excited to undertake systematic exploration to unlock the value in these properties.”

The principal terms of the acquisition require Tanga to pay “approximately” $150,000 to the vendor, including initial payments and transaction costs. Tanga is also responsible for managing and funding future, staged exploration activities.

In consideration, Tanga will earn an 80 per cent equity interest provided it meets the minimum expenditure required on any granted licence over 12 months and keeps the licence in good standing, as a part of Stage 1. Tanga will also fund the work program of exploration to a successful discovery, including resource estimation and pre-feasibility study milestones under Stage 2.

In the event of a discovery being made and Stage 2 being completed, Tanga said the minority partner has an option of contributing its 20 per cent share of subsequent costs.

If Tanga’s JV partner opts to dilute and its interest falls below 10 per cent, the interest will instead convert to a 2 per cent Net Smelter Return Royalty, “NSR Royalty”, on future gold production from mining operations on any of the Côte d’Ivoire project’s tenements. The company may also, at any time, purchase from the minority shareholder half of the NSR Royalty, reducing the NSR Royalty to 1 per cent, for a purchase price of US$10 million.

Tanga said it would also make additional payments of $150,000 to the joint venture partners upon the first exploration license being granted under two of the three JVs.

At the same time as detailing the acquisition, the company also announced the appointment of chartered accountant, Steven Michael as a Non-Executive Director.

Mr Michael, managing director of FTI Consulting, brings to the company more than 25 years’ experience in the global resources sector, specialising in corporate finance and equity capital markets with a CV that includes stints with Macquarie Bank, Rothschild and Royal Bank of Canada.

Mr Michael is also a Non-Executive Director of Predictive Discovery and was previously Managing Director of ASX-listed Arrow Minerals Limited which held several gold exploration projects in Burkina Faso.

Tanga has said while plans are to prioritise exploration on its newly acquired Côte d’Ivoire projects, the company will, concurrently, continue to forge ahead with exploration work at its Damara gold project in Namibia.

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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