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Big gold project update boosts AIM-quoted Cluff Gold

AIM-quoted Cluff Gold says a scoping study on its Baomahun gold project in

Cluff Gold PLC finished 5.93 percent healthier at 71.00 pence on Monday, with brokers recommending a strong buy for the AIM-quoted company focused on the identification, acquisition and development of gold deposits in West Africa, after a scoping study showed that a zone on the Baomahun gold project in Sierra Leone could be economically viable as an open-pit mine.

The study shows that the economically recoverable zone of mineralization could be successfully exploited with a conventional Carbon in Leach ore beneficiation and recovery process of approximately 1.0 to 1.5 million tons per annum ore.

Douglas Chikohora, technical director of Cluff Gold, told Mineweb Tuesday that the scoping results, which confirmed a production of between 140,000 ounces and 200,000 ounces of gold per year, were clear evidence of the need to move the project into the pre-feasibility stage.

"This is a huge project," Chikohora told Mineweb b. "We intend to move the project into the pre-feasibility stage by yearend, with the full feasibility study envisaged for early 2008, fundraising to bring the project into production in 2009 and production during the same year or in early 2010."

Baomahun is located roughly 180 kilometres to the east of Freetown in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. Cluff Gold says its geological setting is similar to Lake Victoria gold fields in Tanzania.

Besides the Baomahun project, Cluff Gold has three other properties in West Africa namely the Angovia project at Mt. Yaoure, Côte d'Ivoire, Kalsaka in Burkina Faso and Kabasso in Mali.

But Baomahun is the most prospective of these projects and exploration to date has delineated a JORC Compliant Resource of 11.2 million tonnes at 3.2 grams per ton gold for 1.16 million ounces gold in the three most prospective zones which are the Western, Eastern and Central Zones.

The scoping study, which was developed with independent consultants RSG Global Consulting and Senet Engineering, was based on indicated and inferred resources of 1.16 million ounces following a resource update at the project in July that revealed an increase in these of 185 percent.

Cluff Gold says drilling has so far covered less than 25 percent of the prospective trend and the metallurgical test work done to date has confirmed the ore to be non-refractory.

Cluff Gold has earned a 60 percent stake in Baomahun, having spent US$5 million through an earn-in agreement with Winston Mines in the project that spans an area of about 137 square kilometres.

"We are delighted with the on-schedule completion of this scoping study which, as well as being very positive in its findings, also fully addresses the issues of infrastructure, including power supply for Baomahun," Chikohora had said earlier in a Regulatory News Services statement to the LSE.

"As we now move towards the preparation of a pre-feasibility study, further drilling, metallurgical test work and engineering optimisation should continue to improve the economic returns of Baomahun," he added.