The company said initial trenching and diamond drill results indicate a zone of “extensive, low-grade near-surface gold mineralization”, which is continuous over “significant thicknesses”. It added that the best intersections obtained so far include 1.03 grams per tonne (g/t) gold over 26.35 metres and 1.08 g/t gold over 11.0 metres, in holes OD3 and OD4, respectively.
"We are delighted that the initial results from our reconnaissance core drilling program at Odundu have revealed a near-surface body of gold-bearing mineralization reflecting the positive geochemical and geophysics data generated by our initial exploration activities,” said CEO Irwin Olian.
“This area was largely unexplored and had never been drilled before.
“The knowledge gained from this initial program will be invaluable in helping to guide our future exploration efforts aimed at developing a meaningful bulk low-grade gold resource on a regional level at Odundu."
As part of African Queen’s 2012 exploration program, surface trenching and drilling was undertaken to examine the gold mineralization present within a major shear zone discovered through field reconnaissance work.
A total of 10 holes were drilled and the company said preliminary results have confirmed “consistent low grade gold mineralization” over a lateral distance of 600 metres to a vertical depth of about 100 metres.
Additional results included 3.99 g/t gold over 1 metre, 1.17 g/t over 12 metres and 1.45 g/t over 5.6 metres.
African Queen said that exploration plans to determine the extensions of this mineralization towards the northwest and southeast are now being developed.
The Odundu project covers an area of roughly 97 square kilometres in the Kanango gold mining area in southwest Kenya near Lake Victoria. It forms part of the gold rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt extending from Tanzania and hosting known world-class gold deposits including African Barrick Gold's (LON:ABG) Bulyanhulu and North Mara mines, and AngloGold Ashanti's (NYSE:AU) Geita mine.
Last month, African Queen said it would end development at its King Solomon Project in Mozambique to focus on projects in Kenya and Ghana.
The company said it made the decision after "a thorough review of its portfolio of exploration properties" in Southern, West and East Africa, in order to reduce costs of operations and to prioritize projects for development in 2013.
African Queen said in 2013, it will focus exploration expenditures on its priority gold projects in Kenya at the Odundu target in the Rongo Gold Fields and at Ugunja, and in Ghana at the Noyem-Nyanfoman Gold Project on the Ashanti Belt.