The Massigui Gold Project is situated in southern Mali, 280km by road from the capital, Bamako.
The Project area comprises a large (674km2) land holding that abuts and partially surrounds the Morila Gold Mine.
Birimian has made what the Company believes to be significant gold discoveries at three prospects, namely N’tiola, Viper and Koting (BGS, 8 February 2016). These prospects are situated near and to the north-west of the under-utilised 4 million tonnes per annum Morila Mine Treatment Plant. Over 35,000 metres of drilling has been completed by Birimian on the project to date.
On 4 November 2016, Birimian entered into two agreements with Societé de Mines de Morila (“Morila”) (BGS, 4 November 2016) that could lead to the commercialisation of gold deposits located on the N’tiola and Finkola permits within its Massigui Gold Project. Under the terms of the agreements, Morila was granted a six-month option to acquire two Areas of Interest. On 28 April 2017, Birimian announced that Morila had given notice of intent to exercise the options. The parties are now working together to complete the transaction. The transaction requires Birimian to surrender the Areas of Interest from its permits and Morila to have those areas included within its existing exploitation permit which is contiguous to the Area of Interest. Under the terms of the agreements, successful completion of these transactions will require Morila to make payments of US$500,000 in relation to each Area of Interest and to pay Birimian a net smelter return (NSR) royalty of up to 4% for gold produced from the Areas of Interest.
This agreement provides a potential low-cost development solution for the identified deposits, with the Company retaining the upside potential of further gold discoveries on the project area. Societé de Mines De Morila manages the Morila Gold Mine, a Joint Venture between operator Randgold Resources, Anglogold Ashanti and the Republic of Mali. To 31 December 2016, Morila had produced more than 6Moz of gold, however Randgold have reported that hard rock mining is now completed and the project has been successfully transitioned to processing TSF material (Randgold 2016 Annual Report, Review of Operations – Morila Gold Mine). Continued operations at Morila are consequently dependent, at least in part, on the successful conclusion of the option agreements with Birimian and Morila undertaking mining and treatment of the resources identified on Birimian’s permit areas.
Koting remains within Birimian’s tenements and will be the focus of renewed exploration activity later in FY18. Deep drilling has tested a relatively small portion of the Koting area and planned exploration aims to fully define the extent of the substantial gold anomaly prior to further deep (reverse circulation and diamond) drilling of the best target zones.