The maiden resource estimate at its core Tanlouka gold project in Burkina Faso demonstrates how Channel Resources (CVE:CHU) is advancing the project as the Canadian junior also looks to unlock the value at its mineral brine project in Alberta.
Tanlouka is a 79 square-kilometre property located an hour east of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital city. The permit area straddles the Markoye Shear Zone, a crustal scale structure that extends from northern Ghana to northern Burkina Faso.
Tanlouka is located proximal to two other gold deposits at an advanced stage of exploration – Bombore (Orezone Gold) and Kiaka (Volta Resources).
"We have been very pleased with the pace at which the Tanlouka project has been growing. Our team has effectively demonstrated the potential for both near term asset growth and exploration upside," Channel Resources senior vice president Cyrus Ameli tells Proactive Investors.
The NI-43-101 mineral resource estimate revealed that the Mankarga 5 deposit at Tanlouka has indicated mineral resources of 14.1 million tonnes at 0.94 grams per tonne (g/t) gold for 425,000 gold ounces, and inferred mineral resources of 29.1 million tonnes at 0.78 g/t gold for 729,000 gold ounces.
Mankarga 5 deposit extends over a strike length of around two kilometres trending northeast-southwest and remains open along-strike as well as to-depth.
The resource estimate, done by AMEC Americas, was based on 71 core drill holes and 58 reverse circulation drill holes for a total of 22,536 metres drilled since June of 2010. The estimate assumes a gold price of US$1,465 per ounce, and base-case mining costs of US$1.54 per tonne.
As anticipated, the total resource is contained within one open pit with a strip ratio of 2.1:1, Channel Resources said.
Channel is also actively seeking out additional projects to enhance shareholder value.
"What we are seeing at Tanlouka, is a very predictable deposit in terms of structure, one that is very consistent. We see structures that are very amenable to open-pit mining," Ameli says.
"It's characterized by higher-grade intersections and lower-grade halo - from a mining perspective you couldn't ask for more really. There's a lot of upside potential in that deposit."
"We have got enough cash right now to move forward on a number of different activities on Mankarga and elsewhere on the property where we have identified targets for further development."
Ameli also praised the stability and pro-business stance of the African nation.
"I have personally worked in many countries and Burkina Faso has been the best experience I've had. Looking at the growth in Burkina Faso, it's a very inexpensive economical place to mine gold."
The political and legal structure that fosters business development in Burkina Faso has been proven in the number of gold mines that have gone into production in the nation. Burkina Faso's largest deposits include IAMGOLD's (TSE:IMG)(NYSE:IAG) Essakane mine, Orezone Gold's (TSE:ORE) Bombore project, High River Gold's (TSE:HRG) Taparko-Bouroum project and Volta Resources' (TSE:VTR) Kiaka gold project.
Channel Resources' other project is Fox Creek, a mineral brine project comprised of mineral rights over a 369 square kilometre area in central Alberta. The project has the potential to produce a package of industrial mineral products, including salt, potash, calcium, magnesium, boron, bromine, and lithium carbonate as a by-product of natural gas production work in the area.
"It would be very easy to move into a production scenario. We are working through some of the process flow sheets and internal economics to see how feasible it is to push forward on this."
Ameli adds that Fox Creek is "not the core value driver" and Channel Resources "plans to advance it a certain stage where it can start applying valuations to it and looking to somehow allow that project to generate its own standalone profit."
The Channel Resources executive adds that an eventual future sale, spin-off or joint venture has yet to be determined and Ameli anticipates reaching a deal sometime this year.
"We do expect that we can start looking at potential partners in the next few months. There's a lot in terms of the market for that project. We see quite a number of groups are out there looking for an asset of this kind."
Earlier this year, Channel Resources released a maiden NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for Fox Creek. The resource estimate reports an inferred total in-place brine volume of 4.1 billion cubic metres, from which contained industrial minerals were calculated.
The total in-place resource was calculated at 245 million tonnes for sodium, 18.8 million tonnes for potassium, 54.8 million tonnes calcium, 11.6 million tonnes for magnesium, 694,000 tonnes for boron, 1.33 million tonnes for bromine and 362,000 tonnes for lithium.
At the same time, Channel Resources is also on the hunt for assets to add to its portfolio. Ameli says the company is still in talks to acquire other projects.
"A lot of the ground in Burkina Faso in the greenstone belt has been spoken for, but we have got a number of opportunities that we are looking at that we hope to report on in the near future."
Further details on Channel Resources and its projects can be found at: http://www.channelresources.ca