Itetemia Gold Project
The Itetemia Gold Project is located 90km southwest of Mwanza in northern Tanzania. The project covers Archaean-age rocks equivalent to those hosting the world class Bulyanhulu and Geita gold deposits in the Lake Victoria Goldfields of Tanzania.
Access to the project is by road from the town of Mwanza 125km to the northeast or from the town of Kahama, 84km to the south. The project area borders Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu mine and the main water supply and power lines that service the mine cross the Itetemia project. There is also an airstrip at the mine capable of accommodating medium sized aircraft.
The Itetemia project lies on the Ushirombo branch of the Sukumaland greenstone belt. The geology comprises Nyanzian-age volcano-sedimentary sequences and granite-gneiss. The Nyanzian rocks (greenstones) provide the most prospective terrain for gold mineralization and are divided into three volcano-sedimentary domains in the project area.
The Golden Horseshoe Reef (GHR)
The GHR is the most advanced prospect within the Itetemia project area and has been the focus of exploration since its discovery in 1997 by artisanal miners. Located in the southern part of the project area, the GHR hosts mineralization that comes to surface and is open along strike to the northwest where a number of drill targets have been established.
The deposit consists of two gold bearing quartz zones within mafic to felsic volcanics in the southern part of the project. Mineralization is associated with pyrrhotite and pyrite (iron sulphide) occurring in semi-massive to massive sulphide veins, veinlets and stringers, and disseminated and nodular sulphides.
Overall, sulphide content averages 2-10%. Iron sulphide, with traces of sphalerite, sometimes forms massive sulphide intervals of up to one metre in association with quartz veining. Re-mobilized sulphides are associated with localized shearing. Elevated gold grades tend to occur in association with pyrrhotite-rich zones, while the massive pyrite zones report lower gold grades.
Exploration began at Itetemia in the period 1992 to 1995 and was undertaken by the State Mining Corporation of Tanzania (Stamico) which held the area as part of a larger license they were exploring at the time. Stamico undertook some mapping, soil sampling, ground geophysics, gridding, trenching and air-photo interpretation.
Following the signing of a joint venture with Stamico in 1995, Tanzanian Royalty undertook line cutting, mapping, soil sampling, and ground geophysics. In February 1997 the GHR prospect was discovered by artisanal miners and provided the focus for work by Tanzanian Royalty over the following years. Towards the end of 2007, 2,543m had been drilled in 22 RC holes, and 10,209m in 41 diamond core holes at GHR.
Metallurgical test work completed by Minestar Management in 1998 indicated grinding and agitated tank cyanide leaching of the material will be required to maximize gold recovery. The metallurgical samples were prepared by using composites from six diamond drill holes that were prepared from assay laboratory rejects.
The samples tested ranged in grade from 0.87 g/t gold to over 4.0 g/t gold; however, most of the samples ranged from 3 to 4 g/t gold. A majority of the test work focused on determining the gold extraction from coarsely crushed material. The particle size distribution was shown to be very significant in determining the overall gold extraction from the mineralized material. A standard bottle roll test was carried out on the sample material. A composite sample, grading 3.67 g/t gold, was crushed and finely ground as feed for the test. Following the test, the residue assayed 0.06 g/t gold, yielding an overall gold recovery of 98%.
Kibo Mining, which previously held the property under an option agreement, undertook a comprehensive synthesis and re-evaluation of all exploration data generated in respect of Itetemia. The focus of this analysis was the GHR where the company sought to establish an open pit mining operation and to extend the mineralization at depth to support an underground mining operation. An August 2009 report by CSA, which carried out preliminary pit optimization modeling on the GHR indicated the potential for the deposit to be mined by open-pit methods, and for follow-on underground mining should mineral resources of sufficient grade be defined at depth.
In addition to the GHR, there is scope within the remainder of the project to discover additional gold mineral resources through application of detailed aeromagnetic surveys, soil sampling and ground IP surveys to generate drill targets.
Itetemia has many geological similarities to the Bulyanhulu deposit located only 5 km to the west. Both deposits are hosted by similarly oriented, steeply dipping, sulphide-bearing quartz reefs located near the contact between basalts and distinctive felsic-intermediate volcanic stratigraphy.
The GHR at Itetemia has a strike length of approximately 600m and has been drilled to a depth of 650m compared with Bulyanhulu which has a strike length of 2,000m and has been drilled to a depth of greater than 2,000m. The prospective contact continues for several kilometres within the Itetemia licenses and potential exists to locate additional gold mineralization similar to that within GHR.