Guinea has a population of approximately 13 million people and covers an area of 245,857 sq kms. Its 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, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of bauxite and with significant iron ore deposits, Guinea is a well-established global mining address.
PDI is focused on its Bankan Gold Project, located in the North-East of Guinea. Bankan lies within the Siguiri Basin, across the West African 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. Significant mines in the region include Siguiri (AngloGold Ashanti), which produced 279,000oz in 2022 and Lefa (NordGold), which produced 163,000oz in 2021. The Kouroussa Gold Mine, owned by Hummingbird Resources achieved first gold pour in June 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 earn 90% through the exploration phase and acquire 100% 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 all of the 5.38Moz Mineral Resource estimate. PDI believes the NEB and BC deposits are only the beginning of the discovery journey and there is the opportunity to unearth other similar deposits within its larger licence area. The Bankan Project is moving towards the development phase, with ESG programs and a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) underway.
NEB is the main discovery within the Bankan Gold Project licence area and BC is a satellite discovery 3km to the west of NEB. These two deposits combined make up the current Mineral Resource estimate of 100.5Mt @ 1.66g/t for 5.38Moz of gold (including 4.14Moz indicated), positioning the Bankan Project as the largest gold discovery in West Africa in more than a decade.
The current NEB estimate includes an Open Pit Mineral Resource reported at a 0.5g/t cut-off grade within a US$1,800/oz optimised resource pit shell, which totals 81.4Mt @ 1.53g/t for 3.99Moz of gold and includes 98% or 3.90Moz in the Indicated category. A high-grade Underground Mineral Resource reported at a 2.0g/t cut-off is present below the resource pit shell, which totals 6.8Mt @ 4.07g/t for 896Koz of gold (Inferred).
There is potential to grow the NEB Open Pit Mineral Resource through targeted drilling of additional high-grade shoots within the resource pit shell, and at the Gbenbeden resource pit shell immediately north of the main NEB deposit. The NEB Underground Mineral Resource is open at depth. There is also potential to incrementally expand the current underground resource along strike to the south, and for additional underground mineralisation in footwall structures.
The BC Mineral Resource is reported at a 0.4g/t Au cut-off grade within a US$1,800/oz optimised resource pit shell, totalling 12.2Mt @ 1.24g/t for 487Koz of gold and includes 50% or 244Koz in the Indicated category. This represents a 47% increase following a successful infill and extension drilling campaign based on the re-interpreted mineralisation model. The BC deposit remains open down plunge to the south-west, and along strike to the south.
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 microns, 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 in buffer zone 2 of the Upper Niger National Park, approximately 21km and 18km away from the core conservation zone. PDI has initiated an extensive ESG program, which includes completing an Environmental & Social Impact Assessment, 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 PFS is also underway at the Bankan Project, which is scheduled for completion in Q1 2024.
Numerous near-surface prospects have been identified within 3kms of the NEB and BC deposits from outstanding aircore and power auger drilling results. RC drilling is underway to progressively test the potential for these prospects to host economic gold mineralisation.
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 regional targets. A dedicated regional exploration team is focused on advancing the regional exploration element of the growth strategy, with a current focus on the Argo permit area.
The Argo area is located 15-20km north of NEB along the major gold structural corridor that represents the western margin of the Siguiri Basin. It contains numerous active and inactive artisanal gold workings.
PDI has completed initial drill targeting for Argo based on results from an IP survey completed in Q2 2023 and other key geological and exploration data. A total of 11 drill-ready target have been identified at Argo, including four Priority 1 targets. RC drilling commenced at Argo in June 2023 and a number of promising initial results have been received.
The Koundian Project is located approximately 115km east-northeast of the Company’s 5.38Moz 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.