Guinea has a population of approximately 13 million people and covers an area of 245,857 sq kms. It’s capital city is Conakry.
The economy is largely dependent on agriculture and mineral production. The extractive sector accounts for more than 30% of government revenues, 79% of exports and 18% of the country’s GDP. As a meaningful producer of gold, with c. 2Moz produced in 2021 and one of. the world’s largest producers and exporters of bauxite, Guinea is a well-established global mining address with significant prospective reserves of high-quality gold, iron ore and base-metal deposits.
PDI is focused on its Bankan Gold Project, located in the North-East of Guinea. Bankan lies within the Siguiri Basin, across the Birimian/Archean gold belts, prolific geological formations which stretch from Mali, through Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and into Ghana. Guinea’s Siguiri Basin remains the most underexplored region of this highly prospective West African region. Significant mines in the region include Siguiri (AngloGold Ashanti) which produced 258,000oz in 2021 and Lefa (NordGold) which produced 163,000oz in 2021. The Kouroussa Gold Mine, owned by Hummingbird is also under construction and scheduled to commence production in 2023.
The geology of the Siguiri Basin is largely composed of turbiditic sediments with lesser mafic volcanics and minor felsic intrusives. The geology in the immediate Bankan Gold Project area consists of shelf sedimentary rocks (conglomerates, sandstones, shales and limestones), mafic volcanics and intrusives and felsic intrusives, the latter generally ranging from tonalite to quartz diorite in composition.
The project is 550km by road from Guinea’s capital Conakry within the region of Upper Guinea (Haute-Guinée) and is near the regional administrative centre of Kouroussa. PDI’s Bankan licence area covers 356km2 in four exploration permits, Kaninko, Saman, Bokoro and Argo.
Three permits are held by wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company. The fourth, Argo, is held in a joint venture with the owners of local company Argo Mining SARLU, through which PDI has the right to acquire 100% equity at decision-to-mine.
The Company has discovered two key deposits, NEB and BC, which sit only 3kms apart, in the southern section of the licence area and account for the 4.2Moz Mineral Resource estimate. PDI believes the NEB and BC are only the beginning of the discovery journey and there is the opportunity to discover other similar deposits to Bankan within its larger licence area. The Bankan Project is moving towards the development phase, with ESG programs and a Scoping Study underway.
NEB is the main discovery within the Bankan Gold Project licence area and BC is a satellite discovery 3km to the west of NE Bankan. These two deposits combined make up the current Mineral Resource estimate of 79.5Mt @ 1.63g/t Au for 4.2Moz Au (Inferred), positioning the Bankan Project as the largest gold discovery in West Africa in more than a decade. The NEB Mineral Resource is currently 3.9Moz Au and the BC estimate is at 331,000oz Au.
The NEB Mineral Resource estimate includes high-grade underground Mineral Resource directly below the NEB optimised pit shell of 283,938 tonnes @ 4.85g/t Au for 44,000 ounces. The underground resource excludes a number of intercepts down-plunge including the deepest diamond hole (BNERD0113), which intersected 24m @ 5.5g/t Au from 850m, 2 approximately 375m down-plunge of the 3.9Moz optimised pit shell. PDI is currently delivering an extensive 60,000m drilling program across NEB and BC, with 8 drill rigs in operation conducting various resource development and exploration programs across the Project.
Initial metallurgical test work has indicated that gold mineralisation within the Bankan Project deposits has straightforward and simple metallurgy. Test work has been completed on the high-grade zone in the lower area of the current pit shell with an average recovery of 92.8%. Two sample streams have been tested, firstly Gravity concentrated then selected random sample tails leached. All the samples tested completed leaching within 24 hours for an average recovery of 94%. Secondly, complete sample leach testing, target grind of p80 passing 75 micron, leaching times with 69 sample leach kinetics indicating completion within 48 hours. The gold mineralisation has been confirmed as free-milling with high gold recoveries and amenable to a simple, industry-standard processing, which is highly encouraging for PDI.
The NEB and BC deposits sit on the edge of the second buffer zone of the Upper Niger National Park, approximately 18km away from the core conservation zone. PDI has initiated an extensive ESG program with the support of globally recognised external consultants to establish a baseline understanding of the regional environment and develop plans to sustainably manage potential future mining operations.
A Scoping Study is also underway at the Bankan Project, which is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2023.
Extensive near-mine exploration has been carried predominantly through air core and power auger drilling within 3kms of the current NEB and BC discoveries. Numerous near-surface prospects have been discovered, which have potential to act as feeder deposits.
NEB and BC are two of potentially many gold accumulations which occur within PDI’s 356km2 of permits. To date, PDI has used both geophysical and auger drilling programs to delineate additional high-quality targets. The Company is also implementing multi-element testing for pathfinder minerals to assist with target generation and prioritisation. PDI has a dedicated regional exploration team which is focused on this element of the growth strategy.
The Koundian Project is located approximately 115km east-northeast of the Company’s 4.2Moz Bankan Gold Project, also within the Birimian-age Siguiri Basin.
The Koundian Project contains widespread gold. Results from 63 holes, totalling 2,854m, were released at ASX on 19 May 2022 with the drilling carried out on a series of traverses testing potentially well mineralised structures including two areas of extensive shallow artisanal gold workings.