UK-domiciled junior miner Andiamo Exploration has so far identified a 100 000-oz-equivalent copper/gold resource (compliant with the Canadian National Instrument 43 101 standard) at its Yacob Dewar property in Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa. Founded in 2008, the company has so far raised $16.5-million to fund its operations.
“We have defined Yacob Dewar down to 50 m, but it goes deeper than that,” company CEO and executive director Theo Botoulas told Mining Weekly at last week’s Investing in African Mining Indaba 2023, in Cape Town. “We have just completed 2 200 m of diamond drilling to extend this resource in depth. These samples are still to be assayed. Once we get the results, we’ll review them and then we’ll further develop our plans for Yacob Dewar.”
So far, Yacob Dewar (“Jacob’s Hut”, in English) has been the main focus for the company, and 90% of its drilling has been at this location. But Andiamo has exploration rights on the Haykota licence area, extending for a length of 55 km and covering an area of 210 km2. All these rights are on the Bisha Metallogenic Belt. The operating Bisha mine is situated on the same structure, 50 km to the north, and annually produces 130 000 t of mined zinc and 20 000 t of mined copper.
“Our next step is to prioritise the remaining 19 drill targets on the Haykota licence and review the results of the current programme at Yacob Dewar, before planning further work,” he reported. “The aim is to increase our resource on the Haykota licence, in the short-term, to at least 500 000 oz equivalent copper/gold resource.”
The company has so far also undertaken some drilling at the properties known as Ber Geba, Adi Merirey, Hoba, Shekeret, Shambotai and Frataka. It has further done geophysical surveys and rock chip and soil sampling at its Mew property, where it has identified another six walk-up drilling targets.
However, in the short term, its number two target (after Yacob Dewar) is Hoba. There, the company plans to carry out ‘down the hole’ geophysical surveys and further drilling, to confirm the orebody at depth. The number three target will be Shambotai.
“Internally, we have the capability to develop and operate our own mine, and at this time we’re assuming that this is what we will do,” he highlights. “But we can’t fix a timeline yet, because a lot is dependent on how big the resource base turns out to be. Another factor will be the state of the market. Who knows? We might get a good offer from a bigger player in the market.”
The company is focused on Eritrea because the country lies on the Arabian-Nubian Shield and is highly prospective and relatively untouched, in exploration and mining terms. The country does, however, have two operating mines, the aforementioned Bisha, and the Zara gold mine, both predominantly-owned by Chinese investors. Further, the country’s minerals law is based on that in force in Australia’s Northern Territory, and the law is observed, as well as being enforced, by the national authorities. The country also has a good network of well-maintained tarred roads and infrastructure.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter