Gregory Isenor, P.Geo., President and CEO of Merrex Gold Inc. ("Merrex") (TSX VENTURE:MXI) has announced that the Merrex-IAMGOLD joint project management committee has approved a diamond drill program for the Siribaya Gold Project, Mali.
The exploration objective of the 2011 diamond drill program is to increase the present NI 43-101 resource estimate to up to one million ounces.
- Program objective to increase the present NI 43-101 resource estimate to up to one million ounces
- Diamond drill program of up to 10,000 metres total
- Operations objective to complete up to 6,000 metres before the seasonal rains
- Will include infill drilling within the Zone 1B resource area, and extension drilling north and south of the Zone1B resource area
- Will include selected targets in the 1A substructure
- Program planned in conjunction with ACA Howe International (UK) Limited
- IAMGOLD program operator
2011 Siribaya Diamond Drill Program
The 50/50 Merrex-IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD") joint project management committee has approved a diamond drill program of up to 10,000 metres for the Siribaya Gold Project, with the aim to drill up to 6,000 metres prior to the commencement of the seasonal rains.
The 2011 diamond drill program will include infill drilling within the Zone 1B NI 34-101 resource area, and extension drilling to the north and to the south of the Zone1B resource area. The diamond drill program will also include selected targets within the Zone 1A substructure outlined by the continuing RC reconnaissance drill program.
The 2011 diamond drill program was planned in conjunction with Merrex's consulting geologists, ACA Howe International (UK) Limited, which prepared Merrex's previous NI 43-101 resource estimates for Siribaya.
As Siribaya project operator, the 2011 diamond drill program will be executed by IAMGOLD.
The 2011 diamond drill program will be funded by Merrex as a supplemental contribution to the joint venture exploration funding of the Siribaya Gold Project.
Siribaya Gold Project
The Siribaya Gold Project in West Mali is Merrex's flagship property. Beginning in 2005 when most gold explorers were focusing further north, Merrex assembled an 848 km2 land package, the largest contiguous group of gold exploration permits in Mali. The Siribaya Gold Project is in the same gold-prolific sequence of Birimian-age greenstones shared by Randgold's Loulo mine, Anglogold Ashanti/IAMGOLD's Sadiola and Yatela mines and others in Western Mali.
Between 2006 and 2008 Merrex spent over C$8,000,000 in direct exploration and advanced the property from a grassroots exploration project to an initial NI 43-101 compliant Inferred resource estimate.
At the end of 2008 IAMGOLD joined forces with Merrex to explore Siribaya by optioning a 50% interest in return for incurring C$10,500,000 of exploration expenditures over a four year period. To December 31, 2010, IAMGOLD had spent approximately C$6,800,000 on direct exploration both within the Siribaya mega-structure and across major portions of the total land package including diamond and RC drilling, a high resolution airborne survey, soil and termite mound geochemical sampling and ground IP.
Interpretations based on the available exploration data indicate that the 10.5 kilometre long Siribaya mega-structure contains two distinct substructures: the 10.5 km long, western 1B substructure (over ten times as long as the strike of the Zone 1B NI 43-101 compliant resource area) and the 9.5 km long eastern 1A substructure one kilometre to the east of the 1B substructure. The substructures are interpreted to contain multiple smaller parallel and sub-parallel gold-mineralized structures.
The 2009 diamond drill program in the Zone 1B area concluded with an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate of 378,000 oz gold (4,015,000 tonnes grading 2.39 g/t Indicated plus 946,000 tonnes grading 2.29 g/t Inferred (including a small contribution to the resource from Zone 1A). Mineralization at Zones 1B and 1A remained open to the north, south and at depth, and except for the small contribution to the resource from Zone 1A, the current NI 43-101resource estimate covers only a small fraction (approximately 10%) of the strike length of the 1B substructure, which is just one of two major substructures within the 10.5 km long NE-SW strike length of the Siribaya mega-structure.
The current NI 43-101 resource estimate includes drill holes over less than one kilometre of strike length. Subsequent drilling of 500 metre spaced step-out drill fences has demonstrated continuity of mineralization over a three kilometre strike length along the Siribaya substructures. An additional 17,000 metres of RC drilling is planned for 2011. This drilling will further extend the explored strike length of the Siribaya trends from three to six kilometres.
IAMGOLD, which assumed operatorship of the project in September 2010, recently accelerated its rate of exploration expenditure and IAMGOLD is ahead of schedule to earn its 50% interest. In 2010, a total of 16,142 m of RC drilling was carried out along the Siribaya trend and concurrently the geochemical trend at Bambadinka was pursued with 4,823 m of mechanical auger drilling.
New mineralized trends have been discovered outside of the Siribaya mega-structure. These include Siribaya West, which lies to the west of the Bambadinka trend and the Babara trends, which lie to the east of Siribaya on the Babara and Kofia permits. These prominent structural and gold geochemical trends will be further tested during the 2011 field season. Additional trends still remain to be fully delineated elsewhere on the Siribaya group of permits.
Gregory P. Isenor, P. Geo., is the Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 who has reviewed and is responsible for the technical information presented in this news release.
Source: Merrex Gold Inc.