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Sarama Resources Declares Maiden Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.5 Million Ounces Gold at the South Houndé Project

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VANCOUVER, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sarama Resources Ltd. ("Sarama" or the "Company") is pleased to declare a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource1 estimate of 1.50 Moz of contained gold2 at its flagship South Houndé Project in south-west Burkina Faso. The Mineral Resource represents a greenfields discovery, crystallising two years of exploration and demonstrating the potential of the Tankoro Structural Corridor to host mineralisation of significance.

Highlights

  • 1.50 Moz gold contained in Inferred Mineral Resource - 29.13 Mt @ 1.6 g/t Au (at a 0.8 g/t Au cut-off)

  • Inferred Mineral Resource estimate includes 1.09 Moz @ 2.1 g/t Au3

  • Oxide component of the Inferred Mineral Resource contains 267 koz of gold4

  • Mineral Resources extend approximately 5.5km along strike in a trend that spans 1.1km across

  • High-grade zones in the MM Prospect extend to a vertical depth of 285m and represent promising exploration targets for underground mining

  • Preliminary metallurgical testwork demonstrates viable processing routes for mineralisation with resulting extractions of 93% for oxide using a conventional cyanidation process and 90% for fresh rock using an oxidation stage prior to cyanidation

  • Exploration activities to continue, with immediate focus on high-grade extensional targets at the MC Prospect

    1. Defined under Canadian National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects
    2. Reported above 0.8 g/t Au for all material types
    3. 16.36 Mt @ 2.1 g/t Au for 1.09 Moz reported above 1.2 g/t Au
    4. 5.36 Mt @ 1.6 g/t Au for 267 koz reported above 0.8 g/t Au

Mineral Resource Estimate

The Mineral Resource estimate was undertaken by the independent and well-established minerals industry consultancy, Cube Consulting Pty Ltd (Perth) and focused solely on exploration activities conducted at Sarama's 100% owned Tankoro property, the key permit in the South Houndé Project.

The Inferred Mineral Resource of 29.13 Mt @ 1.6 g/t Au for 1.50 Moz (at 0.8 g/t Au cut-off) is contained in a package of mineralised zones interpreted to extend over a strike length of approximately 5.5km, in a trend that spans 1.1km across the strike (refer Figure 1).  The potential for further exploration success is supported by the size of the maiden Mineral Resource estimate and its location within the 30km-long Tankoro Structural Corridor which was defined by soil geochemistry during first-pass exploration.  Drill testing of more recently identified geophysics targets has also shown the potential for blind deposits to be discovered on the large tenement position which now exceeds 1,000km2.

Sarama's principal exploration activities have largely focused on the MM Prospect, which accounts for 74% of the gold in the Mineral Resource estimate, and includes several high-grade shoots extending to a vertical depth of 285m below surface.  These higher-grade zones are reflected in the estimate, with 9.44 Mt @ 2.6 g/t Au for 789koz (at a 1.6 g/t Au cut-off) representing 50% of contained gold within the Mineral Resource.

Exploration historically focused on open pit targets, however following drilling success on the MM Prospect, Sarama considers that the steeply-dipping nature of the mineralisation and the presence of reasonably continuous high-grade shoots indicate the potential to support underground mining in conjunction with open pit mining.

Tables 1 and 2 summarise the Inferred Mineral Resource and Appendix A contains detailed breakdowns as well as notes outlining the interpretation and estimation methodology.

Table 1 - Grade & Tonnage Statistics - Inferred Mineral Resource - All Prospects & All Weathering Types
 
Reporting
Cut-off Grade
Tonnage Above
Cut-off Grade
Average Grade Above
Cut-off Grade
Contained Gold
Above Cut-off Grade
Contained Metal
Above Cut-off Grade
         
g/t Au Mt g/t Au koz Au  
         
0 36.54 1.4 1,651 100%
0.5 35.07 1.5 1,633 99%
0.8 29.13 1.6 1,504 91%
1.0 22.88 1.8 1,324 80%
1.2 16.36 2.1 1,094 66%
1.6 9.44 2.6 789 48%
2.0 5.43 3.2 558 34%
2.5 2.91 4.1 379 23%
3.0 2.08 4.6 307 19%
         
         

Table 2 - Inferred Mineral Resource by Weathering Type - Reported Above a 0.8 g/t Au Cut-off Grade
         
Weathering Type Tonnage Above
Cut-off Grade
Average Grade Above
Cut-off Grade
Contained Gold
Above Cut-off Grade
Metal Contribution
         
  Mt g/t Au koz Au  
         
Oxide 5.36 1.6 267 18%
Transition 1.28 1.6 64 4%
Fresh 22.49 1.6 1,172 78%
         
Total Inferred Mineral
Resource
29.13 1.6 1,504 100%

Figure 1 - Mineral Resource Interpretations Overlying Soil Geochemistry Contours

Preliminary Metallurgical Testwork Program

A preliminary metallurgical testwork program was conducted by ALS Metallurgy Pty Ltd (Perth) under the supervision of Orway Mineral Consultants Pty Ltd (Perth) to determine indicative recoveries and understand the metallurgical behavior of the mineralisation within the area of the Mineral Resource.  The testwork is regarded as preliminary and as such, parameters and flowsheets are un-optimised.  Notes outlining the testwork approach and detailed results are presented in Appendix B.

Individual oxide and fresh samples were tested for amenability to gold extraction by gravity and direct cyanidation methods, initially at a P80 grind size of 75 micron ("μm").

Based on these results, gold mineralisation in the oxide material is highly amenable to direct cyanidation at a common P80 grind size of 75μm, realising an average gold extraction of 93.2% (total) when combined with a gravity stage.  Very rapid leach kinetics were evident across all samples with near-peak gold extraction levels being achieved after a leach residence time of only 2 hours.  No preg-robbing issues were apparent and cyanide and lime consumption was within acceptable levels.

The fresh mineralisation demonstrated low amenability to direct cyanidation at P80 grind sizes of 75μm and 45μm, but a good response to flotation and oxidation prior to cyanidation.  Qualitative mineralogical analysis determined that the gold is present as fine particles (10μm) of native gold/gold-silver and several gold-telluride species, all of which are strongly associated with the dominant pyrite mineralisation.

A series of flotation, ultra-fine grinding and roasting tests were conducted to establish a viable processing route for the fresh mineralisation.  In summary, the fresh mineralisation performed well using a process flowsheet featuring gravity, flotation, calcination and cyanidation stages with an overall gold extraction of 89.9% being achieved.

The results for the fresh mineralisation are very encouraging and clearly demonstrate the potential to achieve high gold recoveries when a high level of sulphide oxidation is attained.  Flotation test work achieved a low feed-to-concentrate mass pull of 6.1% at a coarse grind size of P80 150μm with approximately 94% of gold reporting to the flotation concentrate.

Overall gold extractions for the selected oxide and fresh processing flowsheets are summarized below in Table 3.

The results of the flotation testwork demonstrate the opportunity to incorporate an oxidative process stage within a future flowsheet to deliver high recoveries with only an incremental increase in operating costs over conventional cyanidation processing routes.  The oxidative processes being tested use proven technology which is operating commercially in many gold processing facilities around the world.

Desktop amenability assessments for roasting and biological oxidation (BIOX®) processes indicate that the fresh mineralisation concentrate should be highly amenable to both technologies given observed key metrics such as gold:sulphur ratio, sulphide grade, sulphide:carbonate ratio and levels of deleterious elements.

Given that both of these oxidative processes are proven technologies and are used extensively in well-established, modern and industrial-scale gold operations by companies such as Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti and Eldorado Gold, Sarama regards them as viable options and intends to conduct further testwork and assessment as the South Houndé Project progresses.

Table 3 - Gold Extraction Summary - Selected Processing Flowsheets
 
    Contribution to Overall Gold Extraction  
Test Series Assayed
Head
Grade
Gravity Direct
Leach
Flotation
Con. Leach
Flotation
Tail Leach
Overall
Extraction
             
  g/t Au % % % % %
             
Oxide Material (Base Samples)
Direct Cyanidation (75μm grind)
2.67 0.6 92.6 - - 93.2
             
Fresh Material (150 μm Float Con.)
Roast + Calcine Regrind (45μm grind)
3.55 0.4 - 85.5 4.0 89.9
             
             

The Company will prepare and file a technical report under National Instrument 43-101 within 45 days of the date of this news release.

A conference call to discuss the content of this news release is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:30am (Toronto time). To participate in the call, please dial +1 416 628 6611 and quote conference ID 60627424.  Participants outside Canada can access local calling rates by using the numbers listed in Appendix C.

Sarama will be presenting at the Precious Metals Summit conference in Beaver Creek, September 18-20, 2013 and will be present at the Denver Gold Forum in Denver, September 22-23, 2013.

Sarama's President and CEO, Andrew Dinning commented:

"We are very pleased to declare a maiden 1.5 Moz Au Inferred Mineral Resource for the South Houndé Project, which has been achieved in less than 2 years since Sarama's initial public offering and reflects the efforts of our exploration team since the inception of the Company.  The scale of the maiden Mineral Resource underscores the prospectivity of the South Houndé Project and further validates our exploration strategy.

We are also pleased to have identified viable metallurgical processing routes which feature commercially proven technology used in modern, gold processing facilities around the world and look forward to optimising the flowsheets to capitalise on the opportunities identified by the initial testwork.

The completion of this work represents an important milestone in our path to project development and will be used to guide our exploration efforts with a continuing bias towards grade and free-milling material."

For further information on the Company's activities, please contact:
Andrew Dinning or Paul Schmiede
e: info@saramaresources.com
t: +61 (0) 8 9363 7600

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

About Sarama Resources Ltd

Sarama Resources Ltd (TSX-V: SWA) is a West African focused gold explorer with substantial landholdings in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali.

Sarama's flagship properties are situated within the Company's South Houndé Project area in south-west Burkina Faso. Located within the prolific Houndé greenstone belt, exploration programs have built on significant early success to deliver a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 1.5 Moz gold. Outside of Burkina Faso, Sarama is focused on consolidating a number of under-explored landholdings in other emerging and established mining jurisdictions.

Incorporated in 2010, the Company's Board and management team have a proven track record in Africa and a strong history in the discovery and development of large-scale gold deposits.  Sarama is well positioned to build on its current success with a strong financial position and a sound exploration strategy across its property portfolio.

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Information in this news release that is not a statement of historical fact constitutes forward-looking information.  Such forward-looking information includes statements regarding the Company's future exploration, the potential for open pit and underground mining at South Houndé and the maiden Mineral Resource estimate.  Actual results, performance or achievements of the Company may vary from the results suggested by such forward-looking statements due to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such factors include, among others, that the business of exploration for gold and other precious minerals involves a high degree of risk and is highly speculative in nature; Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves, they do not have demonstrated economic viability, and there is no certainty that they can be upgraded to Mineral Reserves through continued exploration; few properties that are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines; geological factors; the actual results of current and future exploration; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's publicly filed documents.

There can be no assurance that any mineralisation that is discovered will be proven to be economic, or that future required regulatory licensing or approvals will be obtained. However, the Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the Company's ability to carry on its exploration activities, the sufficiency of funding, the timely receipt of required approvals, the price of gold and other precious metals, that the Company will not be affected by adverse political events, the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner and the ability of the Company to obtain further financing as and when required and on reasonable terms. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

Sarama does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable laws.

Qualified Person's Statement

Scientific or technical information in this news release that relates to the Company's exploration activities in Burkina Faso is based on information compiled or approved by Michel MercierMichel Mercier is an employee of Sarama Resources Ltd and is a member in good standing of the Ordre des Géologues du Québec and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the commodity, style of mineralisation under consideration and activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.  Michel Mercier consents to the inclusion in this report of the information, in the form and context in which it appears.

Scientific or technical information in this news release that relates to the preparation of the Company's Mineral Resource estimate is based on information compiled or approved by Adrian ShepherdAdrian Shepherd is an employee of Cube Consulting Pty Ltd and is considered to be independent of Sarama Resources Ltd.  Adrian Shepherd is a chartered professional member in good standing of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the commodity, style of mineralisation under consideration and activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.  Adrian Shepherd consents to the inclusion in this report of the information, in the form and context in which it appears.

Scientific or technical information in this news release that relates to metallurgical testwork and mineral processing is based on information compiled or approved by John FodorJohn Fodor is an employee of Orway Mineral Consultants Pty Ltd and is considered to be independent of Sarama Resources Ltd. John Fodor is a Fellow in good standing of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the commodity, style of mineralisation under consideration and activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.  John Fodor consents to the inclusion in this report of the information, in the form and context in which it appears.

Appendix A - Mineral Resource Estimation

Appendix B - Preliminary Metallurgical Testwork

Appendix C - Conference Call International Numbers

 

 

 

SOURCE Sarama Resources Limited



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