“Our focus has mainly been on our VMS deposits, but we also have Gupo Gold which, of the four resources on our Asmara Project, is a little bit different. It’s a gold-only shear zone. Also it’s been the only inferred number that we’ve talked about.
“The goal of this current drill program is two-fold. One, to convert the inferred resource to indicated and measured. Then, two, to possibly expand it. It’s being drilled as part of the current prefeasibility study on the northern projects. The bulk of that study is being done on the VMS deposits. Gupo, however, is only six kilometres from our Emba Derho deposit, and we’re studying the possibility of having a low-capital-cost gold operation combining the gold oxide cap at Emba Derho and Gupo and also perhaps at our Debarwa deposit.
“Quite frankly, these assays were better than we expected. When the initial resource was done in 2004, we really just looked at the higher-grade material. Of course, gold is much higher priced now than it was eight years ago, so we’re looking at the intercepts of 1 g/t over 60 to 70 metres.
“We released the first 26 holes today. There are still another 25 pending. When those come, we’ll update the resource estimate there, and we’ll also look at expansion opportunity. It looks like it’s wide open at depth, and it’s only been drilled from surface down to about 80 metres. So there may be an opportunity to expand the resource. It’s only been a smaller part of our story, but it’s very significant.
“The long-term value with Sunridge is the copper-zinc. We have Debarwa which we can fast-track to production, with its extremely high grades. But the big long-term value is the copper and zinc at Emba Derho. However that sits under the gold oxide cap, so we would be pulling that off and combining it with Gupo as a fairly low-cost gold operation where we’re hoping to build a resource containing somewhere around 400,000 ounces. Perhaps this will all come to light in the prefeasibility study, and perhaps kick-off mining operations in the north before we get to the massive sulphides.
“We’re extremely happy with the results from Gupo. They confirm and improve upon previous drilling there. We’ll get the next 25 holes back and update the resource, and it looks like it could be a significant, at-surface gold resource.
“We’ll have more news out very shortly. We’re about to begin a fairly heavy news flow period on all fronts. We have drilling coming out later this week from Emba Derho; we’re about to drill at Madagascar; and we’re about to outline our plans for exploration drilling on the rest of the Asmarra project.”
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