Encouraging exploration buoys Côte d’Ivoire prospect

8th March 2024

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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Canada-based precious metals miner Fortuna Silver has reported several emerging prospects at its West African Séguéla mine, in Côte d’Ivoire, of which its Badior prospect stands out, with high-grade cores with coarse visible gold up to 5 mm being a common occurrence in drill core samples.

Fortuna exploration senior VP Paul Weedon says further drilling is planned to further establish the limits of this deposit, which he notes “emphasises the broader exploration efforts at Séguéla”.

In addition to Badior, other Fortuna Silver prospects such as Ancien, Sunbird and Koula have returned several high-grade intervals below the current pit designs, which present opportunities for underground development. These programmes aim to expand the understanding of Séguéla's geological controls, Weedon notes.

However, he tells Mining Weekly that the depth potential of these high-grade shoots remains unexplored, with the upcoming 2024 exploration programmes focusing on uncovering their full potential.

Working closely with operations, projects are re-ranked based on their impact, with priority given to those with the highest value in the life-of-mine planning process.

The exploration efforts at Séguéla are strategically focused on supporting mine areas through brownfield exploration, recognising the high-value impact these areas can have on the overall project.

Simultaneously, exploration efforts are also focussed on maintaining a pipeline of new prospects across the wider Séguéla property, continuing the exploration success seen over the last five years.

“The objective remains clear – to find more ounces and extend the mine's life,” Weedon says.

Environmental and community considerations are integral to the exploration process, as without community acceptance, there is no viable programme, he adds.

Therefore, Fortuna Silver, through its Séguéla development, engages in thorough community consultation, and local employment initiatives.

“This not only injects money directly into communities, but also contributes to skills development and a better understanding of the company's goals and methods,” Weedon comments.

At the recently acquired Diamba Sud gold project, the process mirrors this objective, prioritising resource base growth to ensure a sustainable, long-term operation.

Drilling under Fortuna management started on October 8, 2023, and currently identified mineralisation extends beyond the current preliminary pit shells, pointing to the robust nature of this prospect.

The company reported in December that exploration drilling at Diamba Sud returned encouraging results from the initial confirmatory drilling at Area A, with results such as drill hole DSR490 intersecting 3.1 g/t gold over an estimated true width of 29.7 m, from 7 m; while hole DSR487 highlights the potential to increase the overall footprint of the Area A prospect with an interval of 2.3 g/t gold over an interval of 15.3 m, extending beyond the historic mine design limit.

These results, coupled with ongoing infill programmes and additional findings from other prospects near Area A, Area D and Karakaene, will contribute to building the foundation for the feasibility study, Weedon says.

“The success of these drilling programmes exemplifies the high prospectivity of the Séguéla and Diamba Sud mine projects. The aim is clear – to build on the current understanding, enhance project economics, and ultimately deliver a project with a lifespan exceeding a decade,” he states.

Mexico Work

Weedon also highlights the continuing work at the San Jose mine, in Mexico, where drilling to define the recently discovered Yessi vein has provided further insights into the regional structural controls with positive results.

These results included 1 431 g/t silver-equivalent grade over an estimated true width of 1.1 m and a further 250 g/t silver-equivalent over an estimated true width of 4 m, from drill hole SJO-1430; while drill hole SJOM-1428 returned 545 g/t silver-equivalent over an estimated true width of 17 m.

Ongoing exploration is revealing the Yessi vein's potential link to another north-south structure further to the east, though this is yet to be tested.

To the west, the Yessi vein appears to merge into the Victoria Mineralised Zone, forming the western boundary to the graben, Weedon adds.

This evolving understanding highlights the complexity and untapped potential within the project, Weedon says, noting that “as new projects emerge, they are seamlessly incorporated into the relevant life-of-mine plans”.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer



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