Gold miner Predictive Discovery has been struggling for traction in recent years.

But it had some good news for the market this morning, with a promising discovery at its Ivory Coast gold project.

The company is one of many prospectors hunting for precious metal in the west African country, which has undergone something of a gold rush in recent years.

And after digging a two-kilometre trench at its joint venture project in the northern city of Ferkessedougou, PDI is optimistic it has a viable project on its hands.

Next stop; diamonds

“These trenches have confirmed the discovery of a significant gold mineralised body,” said PDI managing director Paul Roberts.

The company highlighted five channels which revealed gold deposits of one to five grams per tonne, with pockets of stronger mineralisation.

For example, one 34 metre channel returned a ratio of 5.29 g/t, but two metres of that channel revealed “bonanza” levels of 75.7 g/t.

The measurement of “bonanza” findings isn’t clearly defined, but industry players generally use the phrase for deposits of at least 5 g/t.

“Predictive is highly encouraged by these trench results which signify discovery of a substantial gold mineralised body showing good continuity,” the company said.

“A modest diamond drilling program to obtain a better idea of the sub-surface shape of the mineralised granite will commence in the next four weeks.”

There was some buying activity in the stock first thing this morning, with shares up to 1.2 cents (a gain of 20 per cent) in early trade.

Gold rush

The Ivory Coast has often lagged behind its West African neighbours for mining investment, after being plagued by a civil war in the early 2000’s.

But improved transport infrastructure, along with the establishment of clear mining regulations, has given rise to an increase in foreign investment over the last five years.

Much of that investment has gone towards exploration, as the Ivory Coast holds the biggest share of the mineral-rich Birmian rocks that extend across West Africa.

Along with its Ivory Coast operations, PDI is also running joint venture gold operations in Burkina Faso and Guinea.

“Results from stream sediment and rock chip sampling on the Guinea authorisations are expected soon,” the company said.

But its Burkina Faso project has been suspended after a senior member of joint venture partner Progress Minerals was kidnapped and killed in early January.