Barry Fitzgerald: Oklo impresses investors, shares climb nearly 15pc
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Listed specialist junior mining and energy investor Lowell Resources Fund (ASX:LRT) hosted a roadshow of sorts for some companies it has invested in on what was a bitterly cold Tuesday night in Melbourne.
Despite the big chill, it was a full house. Whether that was because Lowell’s purpose is to find the next 10 bagger amongst the juniors, or because the roadshow was held at the upstairs Pink Alley Bar at Collins Quarter, was hard to determine.
But between listening to the company speakers and juggling their upmarket bar snacks and beers, the junior investor and fundie types who rocked up must have been paying attention, judging by the 0.2c or 14.8 per cent price gain to 15.5c for Oklo Resources (ASX:OKU) the following day.
Oklo managing director Simon Taylor was first up and managed to get through his update on the west Mali gold explorer in all of 240 seconds, which is to be welcomed when the location for such updates comes with other distractions.
Now it has to be said that Oklo’s share price is still in recovery mode as it recently got as low as 10c due to the general malaise in junior gold stocks, the exit from the register by a forced seller, and the recent flare-up in ethnic reprisal attacks in central Mali.
None of those have been in Oklo’s control. What has remained in its control is the pursuit of its strategy to find the next big gold deposit in Mali by exploring “among the golden giants,” or golden elephants if you prefer.
The “golden giants” is a reference by Oklo to the location of its flagship Dandoko project and the nearby Kouroufing prospect. They are in an underexplored part of Mali which is also home to Canada’s B2Gold’s 7.1moz Fekola gold mine and some other big deposits.
Dandoko was Oklo’s first success. The company has outlined a 12km long gold corridor with drilling at the advanced Seko discovery on the corridor returning results that included 33m at 4.97 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 62m at 5.26g/t.
The current drilling program will further test Seko, along with the Dabia and Sory targets along the 12km corridor.
A 6km long corridor was recently outlined at Kouroufing, 20km south-east of Dandoko. It’s where Oklo recently reported the discovery of a second bedrock gold discovery at the Kome Target.
Recent assays results at Kouroufing Central also confirmed the presence of narrow high-grade gold mineralisation (up to 20.9g/t) hosted within broad and lower grade zones.
“We are there because the geology is fantastic. It is an underexplored belt and we’ve got some monster mines around us,” Taylor said.
He said that being underexplored despite the region’s big mines was a major attraction to Oklo.
“We are not going into an area that’s got thousands of metres of drilling and trying to reinterpret what someone else has done. It’s a clean slate,” Taylor said.
History students will remember that Fekola was originally discovered by ASX-listed Papillon Resources, with Papillon acquired by Canada’s B2Gold in 2015 for $US570m ($829.1m) ahead of the $US250m Fekola mine being built.
Fekola is about 20kms west of Dandoko and the geoscientist involved in its discovery by Papillon, Andrew Boyd, is now in charge of Oklo’s exploration effort.
“We’ve got 16,000m of drilling going on at the moment. We’ve got three rigs going so there is going to be plenty of newsflow over the next few weeks and months as we complete the program,’’ Taylor said.
“Our strategy is to find the next big deposit in Mali. We’ve got the team, we’ve got the cash ($6.5m) to do it, and we’ve got the backers (fellow Mali gold miner Resolute Mining owns 10.6 per cent of the company and fund heavyweight BlackRock holds 14.6 per cent).”