Burkina Faso Projects
The Burkina Faso projects are all located within the Birimian gold belts in West Africa. As Figure 1 shows, these belts contain numerous gold discoveries, a number of which are in production. Many areas of active artisanal mining remain only lightly explored. As a result, further exploration driven by continuing investor and mining company interest is likely to produce more gold discoveries in the years to come.
Figure 1: Major West African gold deposits within the Birimian gold belt (green indicates areas of volcanics and sediments and pink indicates areas of granite). Burkina Faso is outlined in yellow. PDI project locations are denoted by the star symbols.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country, bounded to the south by Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo and Benin, to the west by Mali and to the east by Niger (Figure 1). Gold mining in the past was confined to artisanal mining and one substantial mining operation at Poura in the west of the country which closed in 1999. In the past nine years, however, there has been a strong resurgence in exploration and mine development, stimulated especially by the release of new mining regulations in 2003. The Taparko, Mana, Kalsaka, Inata, Essakane, Bissa and Youga gold mines are now in production. Of these, the largest known deposits are at Mana and Essakane. In addition, exploration results announced by Orbis Gold Limited (Natougou and Nabanga), Ampella Mining Limited (Batie West), Gryphon Minerals Ltd (Banfora), Roxgold Resources (Yaramoko), Golden Rim Resources (Netiana), Volta Resources Inc. (Kiaka), True Gold Mining (Karma) and Orezone Gold Corporation (Bombore) suggest that more gold mines will be developed in future years. Some of these prospects have gold grades well above the West African average, notably Yaramoko, Nabanga, Natougou and Netiana, indicating that Burkina Faso has significant potential for high grade, low cost ounces which supports PDI’s own sharp focus on high grade gold targets.
In common with other West African countries, the Government has the right to take a free carried interest of 10% in any ore deposit that is brought into production. Gold mining royalties range from 3% to 5% depending on the gold price. The rate of corporate tax for mining companies is 17.5%. Discussions between the Government and the mining industry about possible changes to the Mining Act and the taxation code have been ongoing for the past year but no decisions have yet been made.
Figure 2: Locations of PDI exploration permits in Burkina Faso. Yellow dots denote prospects with drill results reported in 2012-13.
In Burkina Faso, PD holds rights to explore 12 granted exploration permits covering a total area of 1,533 square kilometres (Figure 2). A thirteenth permit, Bassieri, covering an additional 74km2 is close to grant. The bulk of the ground held lies within nine permits which are known collectively as the Bonsiega Project (Figure 2). The Bonsiega Project covers 100km of greenstone belt along strike from the Samira Hill Gold Mine in Niger and includes many active artisanal gold mining sites. A second important focus for the Company is the Bangaba permit in the Sebba Belt nearby to the north (Figure 2).
The Company’s objective in Burkina Faso is to discover a large resource/reserve inventory with an average grade exceeding 2g/t Au capable of supporting a major gold mining operation.