Alpha Exploration (TSXV: ALEX) has reported drill results from its first campaign on the Aburna gold prospect, part of the company’s Kerkasha project in Eritrea, based on which it expects “a large gold discovery” in the property.
Highlights from the latest results of the 19-drill program that ended in March included 22 metres grading 4.5 grams gold per tonne starting from 47 metres depth in drill hole ABR-018 and 5 metres grading 1.94 grams gold starting from 71 metres in hole ABR-017.
“These results… continue to support the view that Alpha has found what could be a large gold discovery at Aburna with widespread gold mineralization,” the company’s CEO Michael Hopley said in a press release. “These positive results give… the team plenty of targets for the next round of drilling.”
The Kerkasha project is located about 135 km away from Asmara, the capital of Eritrea and the Aburna gold prospect is located on the western side of the project. Gold was mined at Aburna in the 1920s by Italian colonial miners and more recently by local artisanal miners.
Aburna has six prospective sub-areas: Hill 52, Saddle Workings, Channel 12 NE, Celebration Hill, Pad 2 and Aburna Centra.
Alpha currently owns 100% of the Kerkasha project, which covers 771 sq. km. However, in 2017, the company signed an agreement with the Eritrean National Mining Corp. (ENAMCO) which states that the Eritrean government has the right to a 10% free-carried interest in any mining project developed at Kerkasha.
The government also has the right to purchase a further 30% equity ‘participating interest’ in the Kerkasha project at any time from commencement of exploration to three months after completion of a bankable feasibility study.
To purchase this interest, ENAMCO will have to pay the equivalent percentage cost of exploration up to the point of acquisition and contribute in the project’s expenditures from thereafter.
Highlights from the first 14 drill results released from Aburna on May 3 included 15 metres grading 5.85 grams gold per tonne, starting from 6 metres in hole ABR-005 and 10 metres grading 5.24 grams gold starting from 49 metres in hole ABR-008.
The Kerkasha project also includes the Anagulu porphyry gold-copper and the Tolegimja volcanogenic-massive-sulphide prospects.
Situated in the northeast of the property, the Tolegimja prospect witnessed “significant intervals of massive sulphide mineralization in two out of the nine-drill hole program, that covered about 1,862 metres, that ended earlier this year. Assay results are pending.
Drilling at the Anagulu prospect has witnessed “strong gold and copper mineralization in 7 drill holes that report 1 gram per tonne gold equivalent or grater over intervals ranging from 64 metres to over 100 metres,” the company said. More drilling is planned to test the area later this year.
At press time shares of Alpha Exploration were trading at 76¢ within a 52-week trading range of 65¢ and 99¢.