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Alpha scores richest assay on Aburna in Eritrea - The Northern Miner

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Alpha scores richest assay on Aburna in Eritrea

Alpha Exploration Kerkasha Licence EritreaThe Kerkasha licence in Eritrea holds pre-WWII mines. Credit: Alpha Exploration


 MARCH 5, 2024

Alpha Exploration (TSXV: ALEX) shares gained after reporting its highest-grade drill results on the Aburna project in Eritrea. 

Reverse circulation drill hole ABD012 cut 18 metres grading 15.33 grams gold per tonne from 114 metres depth at the Hill 52 target, Alpha said on Friday. Hole ABD013 returned 49 metres at 2.75 grams gold from 18 metres down hole at the same target including 7 metres at 14.9 grams gold, it said.

Shares in Alpha Exploration rose 11% to 78¢ apiece in Toronto on Friday afternoon, valuing the company at $67.7 million. They’ve traded in a range of 54¢ and 87¢ over the last 52 weeks.

The results from Alpha’s 10,000-metre drill program extend Hill 52 by 200 metres, the company said. Aburna, located 135 km from Asmara, the capital, measures 7 km long by 2 km wide. It’s one of Alpha’s three main discoveries on the 771-sq.-km Kerkasha licence in the northeast African country’s part of the Arabian Nubian Shield.

“The identification of shallow, plunging high-grade mineralization at Hill 52 following similar confirmation at Central Area last month, is testament to the strength of our technical team,” president and CEO Michael Hopley said in a release. “The team is already preparing additional drill targets to extend this zone further which remains open down dip and down plunge, with drilling expected to restart in the next few weeks.”

Alpha is one of an emerging group of companies, such as Royal Road Minerals (TSXV: RYR), Centamin (TSX: CEE; LSE: CEY) and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Ma’aden exploring across the Nubian Shield which stretches north to Egypt and east across the Red Sea. The company is using machine learning and probabilistic modelling on data from AngloGold Ashanti’s (NYSE:AU) exploration of Kerkasha from 2010-13.  

Drill Program

Aburna’s mineralization was first defined in 2022 in drill holes ABR005 (15 metres at 5.85 grams gold) ABR018 (8 metres at 5.47 grams gold) and ABD001 (20 metres at 7.7 grams gold), the company said.

Additional new results include hole ABR114, which returned 6 metres at 4.5 grams gold from 60 metres depth and 2 metres at 11.91 grams gold. It has further defined a separate mineralized structure within Hill 52, Alpha said.

So far, 33 drillholes for 6,033 metres have been drilled at the Central Area (13 drillholes), Hill 52 (11 drillholes) and Northeast Area (nine drillholes). Drilling at Aburna last year suggested shallow plunging mineralized shoots exist at the Northeast, Central and Hill 52 areas, Alpha said. Hill 52’s shoot is larger and higher in grade than expected, the company said.

The shoot lies in a highly foliated portion of a larger shear zone and its higher-grade parts are within dilate areas, lower-grade material that is often 50 metres to 60 metres wide, the company said.

“The Hill 52 shoot is fairly well defined for 200 metres along strike and is open down dip and down plunge,” the company said. “Its size and grade are a key focus for Alpha as we look to extend the primary mineralized shoots at all three sub-areas on the Aburna prospect.”

Capital raising

Alpha has extended the closing of the second tranche of its $5 million capital raising until the end of March. The first tranche raised $4.2 million. The funds are destined for exploration at Kerkasha and other company expenses.

Kerkasha also holds the Anagulu gold-copper prospect, where recent assays showed 108 metres grading 1.24 grams gold and 0.6% copper, and 49 metres at 2.42 grams gold and 1.1% copper within a porphyry unit that stretches across more than 2 km of strike length. Alpha is also advancing the Tolegimja volcanogenic massive sulphide copper-zinc-gold prospect in the same licence area.

Exploration at Kerkasha dates from the 1890-1945 Italian colonial rule. There are four documented Italian gold mines (Asheshi, Fankop, Aburna and Abbi) and seven areas of recent artisanal mining (Kosolda, Ebinte, Balak, Gulul, Shakat, Dase and Dekemhare) within the licence area, the company says.

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