West Africa-focused explorer Oriole Resources has, through its 90%-owned subsidiary Oriole Cameroon, completed an independent desktop remote sensing study for its district-scale licence package in central Cameroon.
The study was completed over the entire 3 592 km2 licence package, which is operated under partnership with Reservoir Minerals Cameroon, a subsidiary of Bureau d'Etudes et d'Investigations Géologico-minières, Géotechniques et Géophysiques.
Oriole Cameroon had, on February 3, received approval for five new licences – Tenekou, Niambaran, Pokor, Ndom and Mbe, in central Cameroon, located to the west of the regional capital, Ngaoundéré, together with a further three new licences – Mana, Dogon and Sanga, granted to Reservoir Minerals Cameroon, a subsidiary of Oriole’s partner BEIG3.
The desktop remote sensing work has identified 12 initial priority gold targets, which will be given particular attention during Oriole’s planned mapping and stream sediment sampling programmes that will take place in the first half of the year.
The licences were initially targeted by Oriole’s technical team owing to their apparent proximity to the dominant regional structure – the Tcholliré-Banyo shear zone (TBSZ), which is a major southwest-northeast-trending splay off the larger-scale Central African Shear Zone.
The remote sensing study used Landsat 8 imagery and ASTER digital terrain models to develop preliminary regional-scale interpretations for geology, alteration and structure. Seven of the eight licences have been interpreted to cover predominantly paleo-proterozoic and pan-African terranes, both of which are prospective for orogenic gold.
The study has also interpreted that the TBSZ passes through at least six licences; all of the Oriole licences in the east of the package and at least one of the BEIG3 licences (Sanga) in the west, with the potential for it to be hidden by the cenozoic cover rocks in the Mana and Dogon.
A number of other important structural orientations have been interpreted within the eastern licences which may be important in controlling the emplacement and therefore location of the gold mineralisation. This is evidenced by three historical gold occurrences within the licence package, including data recorded by the French Geological Survey, that are all located at, or near to, the intersection of interpreted north-northwest-south-southeast trending faults and fractures with structures parallel to the main TBSZ structure.
Going forward, regional-scale mapping and stream sediment sampling are planned to start during the first half of the year.
Oriole CEO Tim Livesey says this work endorses the company’s initial assessment that the district has significant potential to host orogenic-type gold mineralisation. “While these 12 ‘first-pass’ remote sensing targets look interesting from a desktop analysis point of view, we will also be carrying out a wider, district-scale stream sediment sampling programme and mapping, as the main part of the 2021 programme across the entire licence package.”
He adds that, from this work, Oriole expects to identify many more areas of interest for detailed follow-up in later exploration phases. “Throughout, we will continue to re-evaluate and re-prioritise our targets across this potential new gold exploration district as more data becomes available from the field programmes.”