Sarama Resources is laying a strong foundation for adding to the already large nearly 3-million-ounce gold resource at its Sanutura Project in West Africa, with the impending release of highly anticipated drill results.

Following completion of a sizeable 20,000m of drilling at its Sanutura Project in Burkina Faso, Sarama Resources (ASX:SRR) is preparing to start rolling out results in the coming weeks.

Located in one of the most prolific gold belts in West Africa, the project already has a large resource of 2.9Moz, including 0.6Moz at 1.9g/t gold in the higher confidence Indicated category and 2.3Moz at 1.4g/t gold in the Inferred category.

“There’s already a substantial resource that underpins the value of the project and ultimately the company, but there’s still a lot of exploration runway left in this project,” CEO Andrew Dinning told Stockhead just ahead of its recent ASX debut.

The Sanutura Project lies in a prolific gold belt and is just 60km south of Endeavour Mining’s 5Moz Houndé mine, 120km south of Fortuna Silver’s high-grade +1Moz Yaramoko mine and 140km south of Endeavour Mining’s 5Moz Mana mine, highlighting the significant gold endowment of the highly prospective Houndé Belt.

From a future development point of view, there is an estimated 4Moz within a 6km radius of the Sanutura Project’s 2.5Moz Tankoro Deposit, with Endeavour Mining’s 1.5Moz Bantou Project situated immediately to the west. In addition, the project also hosts the high-grade, 0.5Moz Bondi Deposit situated in the north of the Sanutura Project and Sarama also holds an interest in the 0.7Moz Karankasso JV Project which adjoins the Sanutura Project and is a joint venture with Endeavour Mining.

Importantly, and the subject of the current and planned +50,000m exploration programs, the project retains significant exploration upside with numerous exploration targets identified across the wider 1,420sqkm project area.

Vast regional opportunity

“Endeavour Mining have just started drilling their Bantou Project immediately to the west of us and we are pretty keen to follow their progress, because that ground, when viewed in the context of Sarama’s Sanutura Project, forms a key part of the regional development picture,” Dinning told Stockhead.

“So, the bigger question here is how this area comes together, we already have a standalone project however both Sarama and Endeavour have dominant land positions but when you combine our neighbouring projects, you have a very significant project with a plus 5-million-ounce resource base, a commanding land position and the potential to establish a very large, long-life mine.

“So I guess the ultimate question is whether Endeavour consolidates the area or whether we get an opportunity to consolidate Endeavour’s neighbouring interests – which has been a goal of ours for many years.”

Sarama’s broader 50,000m drilling program is focused on shallow extensional and regional generative targets and is designed to materially grow the shallow oxide component of the resource.

“The drilling we’re doing now is a mix of extensional and following up new zones and prospects that we’ve identified through previous exploration programs,” Dinning explained.

“The program has been structured to increase the oxide component of the already large mineral resource by targeting near-surface material in extensions to the currently modelled deposits, near resource target areas, as well as testing a number of regional targets.

“As they say, the best place to find gold is where there is already gold and we remain very optimistic that we can materially grow the existing resource, the question for us is by how much.

“The aim of the current program is to push the oxide resource solidly through 1 million ounces and position us to establish a long life +120,000oz-a-year operation where the formative years are based purely on high grade oxide material and at least the first seven to eight years of feed is simple CIL material.”

The majority of the drilling samples have been dispatched to the SGS and ALS assay laboratories in Ouagadougou, where turnaround time is averaging around four weeks. Assays are starting to be returned and will be released after their compilation and interpretation are complete.

“We have been very pleased with the progress made in the drilling campaign at the Sanutura Project and completing 20,000m of drilling within two months is testament to the teams we have in the field and their ability to expedite activity in the southwest of the country,” Dinning said.

Plenty of exploration blue sky

The Tankoro deposit is the key contributor to the Sanutura project’s large resource having already been defined over 16km of strike, most of which has only been tested to 70m depth.

Drilling of certain higher-grade zones, however, has shown the system extends down to 550m deep where it remains open, demonstrating the size of the mineralised system and the potential for growing the existing resource.

Sarama is also planning several drill programs for the high-grade Bondi Deposit where the system remains open along strike and at depth. The top 70m to 100m within the resource is considered well drilled, however deeper drilling is sparse and does not target higher-grade shoots effectively.

The planned programs will test extensional targets along strike, down dip and down plunge of the current Mineral Resource which has over 50 shallow, +75 gram/metre gold historical drill intercepts including 52m at 5.31g/t gold from 38m, 13m at 20.41g/t gold from 8m, 66m at 3.83g/t gold from 6m and 70m at 3.04g/t gold from surface.

The company identified some highly prospective regional targets during previous reconnaissance drilling, including the Zanawa Prospect which produced shallow downhole intersections of 22m at 3.85g/t gold, 5m at 4.54g/t gold and 29m at 1.44g/t gold, and the Bamako 2 Prospect where intersections include 15m at 6.17g/t gold and 8m at 18.4g/t gold; all of which are yet to be followed-up.

“Although our highest ranked extensional and exploration targets in and around the Bondi deposit have yet to be drilled, we remain pleased with the progress made and look forward to the receipt, compilation and publication of results,” Dinning said.

Sarama expects to take a break in the current drilling program at the end of July to coincide with the rainy season in Burkina Faso.

“We’ll recommence drilling at the end of the rainy season, which will most likely be November,” Dinning said.

This article was developed in collaboration with Sarama Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.