Falea project is a polymetallic (uranium, copper and silver) deposit located in Mali, West Africa. The project includes three contiguous exploration licences, namely- Falea, Bala, and Madini- collectively called Falea project.

More than 235,000m of drilling was conducted at the property. The three licences have significant uranium, copper, and silver resources in the Indicated and Inferred categories with most of the known ore zones open for exploration.

An updated Technical Report on the Felea Deposit was published in October 2015.

The property was owned by Canada-based mineral resource company GoviEx Uranium. In January 2023, African Energy Metals signed an agreement to acquire GoviEx’s indirectly owned subsidiary Delta Exploration Mali, which owns the Falea project.

Location and Site details

The Falea project is located approximately 350km west of Bamako, the capital of Mali. The nearest town is Kenieba, around 80km drive north from the project area.

AREVA’s Saraya East Uranium Deposit in Senegal is located around 80km from the property.

Overall, the property includes an area of 225km2, with a core area of approximately 75km2. It can be accessed via both air and road from Bamako.

Ownership history

French atomic energy company COGEMA discovered mineralisation in the Falea area in 1977 and ceased exploration at the property in 1982 due to fall in uranium prices.

In 2006, Delta Exploration entered into an agreement with the Government of Mali for exploration at the property.

An option agreement was signed between Delta and Rockgate in November 2006 and diamond drilling commenced at the property commenced in March 2007.

Rockgate became the operator of the project by July 2007 following the implementation of joint venture agreement.

In November 2008, Rockgate agreed to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Delta.

The permit for the project was renewed in 2010 and the area was halved in compliance with Malian Mining Law.

Denison acquired control of Rockgate in November 2013 and acquired Rockgate fully in January 2014.

GoviEx acquired the property from Denison Mines in June 2016.

In January 2023, GoviEx Uranium entered into an agreement to sell all issued and outstanding shares of its wholly-owned Malian subsidiary Delta Exploration Mali SARL (Delta), which held the Falea project, to African Energy Metals.

The transaction is expected to close in March 2023, subject to customary conditions including approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Falea Deposit Geology and Mineralisation

According to GoviEx Uranium, only 5% of the 225km2 land package has been explored.

Mineralisation occurs in the Neoproterozoic to Carboniferous sedimentary sequence of a shallow interior sag basin called Taoudeni Basin.

The basin is underlain by the Birimian greenstones intruded by uranium-bearing Saraya granites.

Most of the mineralisation at Falea is located in the flat lying Kania sandstone, near the bottom of the Taoudeni Basin sequence.

According to the technical report published in 2015, the mineralisation is interpreted as an unconformity type uranium deposit.

Four mineralised zones called Central, North, East, and Bodi, were identified at the property.

Rockgate’s mineralogical studies found that uranium mineralisation in the form of pitchblende and coffinite encloses the chalcopyrite mineralisation.

Copper mineralisation is present in moderately oxidised formations, while silver mineralisation is predominantly within the KS unit.

Mineral resource estimate

As of October 2015, Indicated Mineral Resource is estimated to be 6.88 million tonnes (MT) at 0.115% triuranium octoxide (U3O8), 0.161% Cu, and 73 g/t Ag. Inferred Mineral Resource stands at 8.78MT at 0.07% U3O8, 0.200% Cu, and 17 g/t Ag.

The mineral resource estimate is based on 945 diamond drill holes totalling 232,034m.

Mining and Ore processing

Falea project is expected to employ underground mining operations.

A grading analysis of a composite sample from the property showed that uranium-phases are dominantly U-silicates and U-oxides, while silver is present as native silver and silver-sulphide and copper is predominantly hosted by chalcopyrite and lesser chalcocite/covellite.

The processing is expected to involve fine grinding of the ore. Uranium will be recovered through acid leaching, silver through cyanide leaching and sulphide flotation will be used to recover most of the remaining copper and some silver.

Falea Project infrastructure

At the moment, the project has no significant infrastructure except the exploration camp comprising of approximately 20 sleeping huts and shipping containers which are converted to bunkhouses to accommodate 70 people.

The site also has a light aircraft landing strip.

Power at the site is supplied by onsite generators, while 30 fuel tanks with total capacity of 300,000 litres of diesel meet fuel requirements.

Contractors Involved

Minxcon prepared the Mineral Resource estimate and a supporting NI 43-101 Technical Report dated 12 December 2012.

Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA) prepared the technical report of the Falea Project with effective date of 26 October 2015.

In 2010, SGS South Africa was selected for mineralogical characterisation and deportment analysis of a composite sample from the Falea Project.

The metallurgical test work was completed by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Terratec Geophysical Services conducted an Induced Polarization (IP) survey over the property.

In 2020, GoviEx contracted International Drilling Company (IDC) for 6,000m air core drilling programme to test gold potential on the Madini Permit of the property.

Sprott Capital Partners is providing financial advisory services to GoviEx regarding the sale of Falea project to African Energy Metals.