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We are back! After spending the majority of August in Africa and the month to date catching up on everything else.
Starting with COVID-19 and my review of how well the countries that hosted me in Africa are doing with the pandemic. In Ethiopia almost everyone uses a mask, inside and outside, there are extra checks at the airports and my 4-day quarantine was professionally handled. Ethiopians seem to have developed an obsession with bright purple, cheap whisky smelling hand sanitizer.
Similarly, in the Ivory Coast the majority of the population, even in rural areas well away from Coronavirus seemed to adhere to mask wearing and the use of hand sanitizer – it is great to see how these countries, often put down by the West are handling the pandemic with grace and science.
Interestingly, as many of my colleagues will know, when trekking in the bush in Africa the children from local villages can often be heard shouting ‘China China’ when seeing a foreigner. This chant of ‘China China’ has now been replaced with ‘Corona Corona’.
Whilst I was away, Mali had a blood-less coup. Many of the mines in the country were quick to issue news releases to stem the flow of stock sell offs. Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) saw their stock drop from Au$1.35 to AU$1.11 in the days after the coup. There had been a slight recovery which was all but wiped off when the company announced that workers, some of whom are away from site due to Covid, are going to strike over unfair pay for workers left off site. This has resulted in the company scraping their 2020 guidance; they do however maintain that the coup will not affect production.
Now to some results! First up in the hot topic of REE’s Australia’s Ionic Rare Earth Ltd (ASX:IXR) released drilling results at their Makuutu REE project in Uganda, including 11.7m @ 1017ppm REE.
All the rest of the week’s activity was focused on West Africa and features the similar bunch of names as the last round up! Predictive Discovery Ltd. (ASX:PDI) released more drilling results from their Kaninko project in Guinea, including 55m @ 2.94g/t. Across the boarder in Cote d’Ivoire Roxgold Inc. (TSX-V:ROXFG) released more fantastic results at Seguela, including 19m at 26.1g/t, and other Ivory Coast favorites Tietto Minerals Ltd. (ASX:TIE) managed to get 21m @ 2.03g/t at Abujar.
Over the hills and into Burkina, Sarama Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:SWA) released a new resource estimate from Sanutura, the resource outlined by Adrian Shepherd at Cube Consulting shows 9.4Mt @ 1.9g/t Au in the indicated category and 43.6Mt @ 1.4g/t in the inferred category. Not a bad start for this one.
Similarly in Mali, Mali Lithium Ltd. (ASX:MLL) released an updated measured resource for their Morila project (ex-Barrick). The resource should 76,000 ounces of gold at 0.5g/t.
Finally, over in Ghana, Galiano Gold Inc. (TSX:GAU) drilling 79m @ 4.7g/t Au from surface at their Asanko Gold Mine.
A worthy mention also goes to our friends over at Ironridge Resources (AIM:IRR) whom have kicked started their post-COVID exploration in the Ivory Coast, fingers crossed for some excellent drill intercepts soon.
I close with the news that the University of Exeter has suspended the BEng and MEng Mining Engineering recruitment at the prestigious Camborne School of Mines. Being an alumni of the school and working in the industry, I cannot help but think that this is a poor decision from a purely business minded university board. The world needs materials and minerals for all parts of life and mining engineers are a major part of that. I think the university would have been prudent to develop the course, market the course, and market the subjects better.
Tim Strong is a principal geologist and MD of Kangari Consulting as well as the Project Development Manager at Global Energy Metals (TSXv: GEMC). His experience spans the management and implementation of gold and base metal exploration, both for junior and major companies.
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