Loncor Resources provides an update on exploration activities undertaken by Barrick Gold (Congo) SARL (formerly Randgold Resources Congo SARL) on Loncor’s Archean greenstone Ngayu gold project in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


Image: Loncor updates exploration activities at Ngayu Project. Photo: Image by Steve Bidmead from Pixabay.

Such activities are being carried out as part of the joint venture agreement between Barrick and Loncor. The Ngayu Archean greenstone belt is 200 kilometres southwest of the Kibali gold mine, which is operated by Barrick.

Drill targets have now been delineated by Barrick on a number of prospects at Ngayu, with drilling expected to commence in June. A number of these targets have similar host lithological, structural and alteration characteristics to the Neoarchean orogenic gold deposits of the Moto and Geita greenstone belts that host the Kibali and Geita gold mines. In 2018, the Kibali and Geita mines produced 807,251 ounces and 564,000 ounces of gold respectively.

Exploration by Barrick at Ngayu this year has been focused on the 30 kilometre strike Imva fold area in the west of the Ngayu belt, where a new base camp has been established at Mambati. A number of prospects are being assessed along the Imva fold structure including Bikira, Bikira South (Asese), Bavadili West, Makasi trend, Lybie (Matete East) and Bakpau.

At the blind Bavadili West prospect, trenching and pitting over a 120 metre southwest-northeast strike has identified a shallow plunging (15-20°/310°) mineralized zone controlled by the intersection of a steep mineralized structure, which runs subparallel to the axial plane of the Bavadili antiform and a cherty-BIF (Banded Ironstone Formation) unit. Due to the plunging and strongly brecciated nature of the structure and limited surface expression, a drill motivation consisting of four core holes has been proposed to test the down plunge and down dip potential.

At Bikira, scout trenching to test a model of an overturned fold with mineralisation hosted in the limbs of an interpreted BIF took place during the first quarter of 2019. Results are pending. At Bikira South (Asese), initial reconnaissance work generated encouraging first-pass exploration results including multiple +1g/t Au lithosamples up to 13.1g/t Au in brecciated BIF. Scout pitting and additional lithosampling in the vicinity of a 13.1g/t Au sample returned assays from 1 to 5.2g/t Au hosted in foliated and silicified volcano sediments. Three auger fence lines were then drilled within the area over a 300 metre strike confirming the continuity of the host BIF. Trenching is underway to further advance the target.

On the Makasi trend, models were developed to evaluate the down plunge potential of the Makasi workings to the southwest. Mineralisation appears to occur almost exclusively within the metasediments as discrete zones, elliptical in shape and plunging to the southwest at 30° to 40° and controlled by pinch and swell structures. Southwest-northeast trending dolerite and quartz feldspar porphyry dykes generally bound the mineralization. The gold-related alteration assemblage consists of quartz, chlorite, sericite, carbonate with varying amounts of albite, pyrite, and graphite. Two main types of mineralization have been identified in the previous Itali boreholes, one of which is related to quartz-carbonate veins and the other has disseminated sulphides associated with ankerite and silica. A first pass three hole core drilling program (for a total of 867 metres) has been proposed to target the down plunge continuity of the mineralisation lode intersected in trench IT002 (42.5 metres @ 2.11g/t Au) and in drill hole NIDD001 (38.82 metres @ 2.66g/t Au) (this trench IT002 intersection and drill hole NIDD001 intersection were completed by Loncor and reported by Loncor in its January 26, 2012 press release, a copy of which release can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com).

At Bakpau, exploration was extended towards the northeast over a 1.2 kilometre +80ppb residual soil anomaly associated with the intersection between interpreted northeast and east-northeast structures. A historic trench, IMT0002 (33 metres @ 0.53g/t Au, including 7 metres @ 0.84g/t Au), is being investigated by a northwest-southeast trending trench, BKTR0001, to test for any extensions and to identify the true width of the mineralised zone.

At Lybie (Matete East), the main focus of exploration during the first quarter of 2019 was the start of a first pass reconnaissance pitting and trenching program. Pitting returned up 0.97g/t Au within cherty BIF. Trenching over the highest pit values confirmed wide low-grade mineralisation (20 metres @ 0.27g/t Au). Trench excavation will continue towards the north and south to assess the controls for the associated deformation and alteration.

Drill targets were also developed last year at the Anguluku prospect area (including Golgotha, Baberu and Bayinga) in the southwest side of the Ngayu greenstone where a sequence of fine grained metasediment, carbonaceous shale, metabasalt and BIF trend approximately eastwest and dip moderately to south-southwest within an antiformal structure. An initial 10 core hole (2,490 metres) drilling program is proposed to test 4,500 metres of potential strike.

Joint Venture Agreement with Barrick
As per the joint venture agreement signed in January 2016 (reference is made to Loncor’s January 19, 2016 press release), Barrick manages and funds exploration of the exploration permit areas comprising Loncor’s Ngayu project until the completion of a pre-feasibility study on any gold discovery meeting the investment criteria of Barrick. Subject to the DRC’s free carried interest requirements, Barrick would earn 65% of any discovery with Loncor holding the balance of 35%. Loncor will be required, from that point forward, to fund its pro-rata share in respect of the discovery in order to maintain its 35% interest or be diluted.

Certain parcels of land within the Ngayu project surrounding and including the Makapela and Yindi prospects have been retained by Loncor and do not form part of the joint venture with Barrick. Barrick shall have certain preemptive rights over these two areas. Loncor’s Makapela prospect has an Indicated Mineral Resource of 614,200 ounces of gold (2.20 million tonnes grading 8.66 g/t Au) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 549,600 ounces of gold (3.22 million tonnes grading 5.30 g/t Au).

Source: Company Press Release