West Africa-focused gold explorer Azumah Resources has made a new high-grade discovery beneath an existing deposit in Ghana.

Drilling beneath the Bepkong deposit has returned a 93m semi-continuous mineralised zone hosting grades as high as 88.71 grams per tonne (g/t).

Anything over about 5g/t is considered high-grade.

The new find sent shares up almost 23 per cent in early trade on Wednesday to a peak of 2.7c. Over 4 million shares had changed hands by 11.30am AEDT.

The Bepkong deposit currently hosts a “proved and probable” reserve of 113,000 ounces.

Reserves are resources that have been declared economically viable to extract.

The deposit also hosts a higher confidence measured and indicated resource of 201,100 ounces and an inferred resource of 44,000 ounces.

Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured.

Azumah (ASX:AZM) said the near “blind” discovery at Bepkong East increases the likelihood of underground mining.

In May the company reported a hit of 44m at 5.37g/t from 99m at the Kunche prospect. Azumah said back then that was a “game-changer”.

Managing director Stephen Stone told investors this latest drill result is “further proof that the Wa gold project has so much more to deliver as it transitions towards development”.

“This latest development is consistent with the structurally controlled orogenic-style of mineralisation that hosts the Wa gold project and which we know can extend to considerably greater depths than we have been drilling to date.”

Azumah is waiting on the results of two more holes — one which contained visible gold at a depth of 180.9m.

Azumah Resources, Wa project, Ghana, visible gold at Bepkong East

These are the first results reported from the 40,000m, $4m multi-target drilling program.

Azumah’s goal is to boost the reserves and resources at the Wa project to have it “development-ready” by the third quarter next year.

A reserve and feasibility study update are slated for release in January next year.