The project is held under a joint venture between African Queen and Akan Exploration, and is operated by African Queen, which controls a 60 per cent interest.
The license, held by the company's operating subsidiary AQ Ghana Gold, has been renewed through December 31, 2014, and has been signed by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources on the recommendation of the Minerals Commission of Ghana.
The area under license now comprises two non-contiguous blocks aggregating around 30.23 square kilometres, namely Noyem A (Nyanfoman), which covers 23.55 sq. km and Noyem B (Apragya), which covers 6.68 sq. km.
This ground now includes the lands relinquished by 19 small scale miners on the Noyem A gold reef under agreements with African Queen in 2011, for around 3.55 sq. km, as well as an additional 1.48 sq. km of open ground that has been added.
At the same time, African Queen has now shed off 3.55 sq. km of ground with surface mining potential in the Noyem B block, it said, in order to provide an area for relocation of the small scale miners who relinquished their claims on the Noyem A Reef.
With the license expansion and renewal, the company has regained control of the Noyem A Reef and its historic resource area, allowing it to proceed with development of a large scale project.
"We are delighted that the Ghana Ministry has now expanded and renewed our license at Noyem-Nyanfoman," said CEO Irwin Olian.
"This effectively vests us with control of the Noyem A Gold Reef and will allow us to proceed on behalf of our joint venture with our full development plans over the next two years."
The project, which is characterized by palaeoplacer gold mineralization, is hosted within the basal conglomerates of the Tarkwaian Group's Banket Formation.
The Tarkwa Gold Mine, operated by Gold Fields Ltd., is also hosted within the conglomerates of the Banket Formation and has a combined gold resource of around 15 million ounces, African Queen noted.
It also said that initial results reported from its core drill program at the project are consistent with historic results from prior owner Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), and "tend to confirm the presence in the region over a strike of at least 5.6 km of a relatively continuous gold-bearing reef".
Between 1996 and 1997, Bonsu Gold Holdings, a subsidiary of Gencor Ltd. and predecessor to Newmont, drilled a total of 27 holes along the line of strike of the conglomerates of the Banket Formation, which constitutes African Queen's Northern Limb target.
The company said the Bonsu program "indicated a zone of elevated gold concentration within the Noyem Conglomerate Zone and lead to establishment of a significant historic high-grade gold resource."
Earlier this month, African Queenshares moved higher after announcing that initial assay results from its Odundu gold project in Kenya showed a near-surface body of gold-bearing mineralization. The company said initial trenching and diamond drill results indicated a zone of “extensive, low-grade near-surface gold mineralization”, which is continuous over “significant thicknesses”.