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Aura Energy begins field activities on gold tenements in Mauritania

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 17 Oct 2019

Aura Energy begins field activities on gold tenements in Mauritania

(Sharecast News) - Aura Energy has started field activities and data review on its granted exploration licences for its gold, base and battery metal tenements in Mauritania, it announced on Thursday, reporting that the work included field inspections, geological mapping of structures and the review and confirmation of previous drill data for both the gold projects and the nickel cobalt projects.
The AIM-traded firm said the tenements of 435 square kilometres were in a "highly prospective" area lying on two lightly-explored mineralised greenstone belts in Mauritania.

It said the areas lay along strike from Kinross' giant 20 Moz Tasiast Gold Mine, where Franco Nevada owned a royalty, and from Algold's Tijirit gold deposits.

Aura explained that Kinross also recently announced that it would expand gold production at Tasiast to 530,000 ounces per year.

The company's board maintained that the tenements, with the single large Tasiast gold mine along strike, and strong base and battery metal results from limited previous exploration, represented "some of the best" under-explored greenstone belt targets in the world.

It recently started field activities with initial field inspection to locate artisanal mining sites, determine the extent of outcrop and assess access to enable planning of further evaluation activities.

Additionally, ongoing compilation and re-interpretation of data gathered from previous exploration campaigns highlighted a number of important aspects, including additional gold intersections on the Ghassariat prospect some 1.5 kilometres from the previous mineralised section, indicating the potential for a large mineralised gold system.

It also highlighted the existence of a large untested magnetic anomaly on the Bella prospect, interpreted to reflect an unusually large ultramafic complex prospective for nickel and cobalt.

That had been tested so far only by a single line of bedrock drilling near its southern margin, which yielded strong nickel and cobalt values.

Aura said the complex within Bella had five additional lines of previously-proposed drilling across magnetic highs which had not yet been executed, and noted strong, previously unreported nickel/cobalt/copper values on the Taet permit.

The Taet intercepts included strong copper values, which it said could indicate the presence of nickel sulphides.

It explained that two artisanal pit locations were recorded, both small, adding that as much of the Aura permit areas were under shallow cover or laterite, with the area "not generally attractive" to artisanal miners.

At the Ghassariat prospect, Aura siad air-core drilling to bedrock by the previous explorer located several anomalous gold zones, up to eight kilometres in length.

Of particular interest was the Ghassariat zone, which had between one gram and three grams of gold per tonne on three of the four air-core traverses drilled.

That anomaly extended over about eight kilometres, parallel to the strike of the greenstone belt.

Aura said the Ghassariat Prospect intersections occurred in "strongly sulphidic and quartz-veined" mafic volcanics, and had marked similarities with some of the ore zones and near-ore alteration zones at the neighbouring Kinross Tasiast Mine.

Drilling to date had been primarily shallow vertical air-core to sample the bedrock beneath shallow cover, with limited deeper reverse circulation testing below the air core drilling.

A small number of reverse circulation holes had provided good results, the board said, however the density of drilling was said to be very low, averaging approximately one hole per 20 square kilometres.

A systematic programme to ensure both deeper drilling under existing drill results and further shallow drilling on new targets was being planned.

Intersections in the Ghassariat zone, confirmed by Aura's review of the drilling and assay data, included TGRC 022, with 71 metres at 0.3 grams of gold per tonne, including five metres at 1.2 grams of gold per tonne, three metres at one gram of gold per tonne, and 11 metres at 0.5 grams of gold per tonne.

They also included TGRC 007, with 38 metres at 0.4 grams of gold per tonne, including one metre at 6.1 grams of gold per tonne, 10 metres at 0.5 grams of gold per tonne, and three metres at 0.9 grams of gold per tonne.

The board said it was "encouraged" by the fact that those intersections occurred within broad mineralised intervals, indicating a substantial mineralised system, as opposed to narrow quartz veins.

It noted that the nearest reverse circulation drill sections to those two holes were 1.5 kilometres away.

"Prior exploration here has been a first pass program directly along strike from the giant Tasiast gold deposit aimed at locating similar major deposits," said Aura's head of geology, Neil Clifford ."The Ghassariat Zone, with existing reverse circulation holes on sections kilometres apart, could in fact be part of such a mineralised system.

"Interestingly the Tasiast gold deposit is in Archean greenstones with strong similarities in terms of rock types, structure and mineralisation style with the great gold provinces in the Archean greenstone belts of Australia and Canada in which there have been many hundreds of gold mines."

Clifford said that in the Tasiast district there was currently only one, reflecting how little explored the belt was.

"Clearly the potential for additional and substantial discoveries in the Tasiast district is very high.

"The Archean greenstone belts in Western Australia and Canada also contain many nickel deposits, and the early indications of this style of mineralisation on Aura's Tasiast properties are very promising."

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