The Morondo Gold Project is located approximately 350 kilometres north-west of Yamoussoukro, the political capital of Côte d’Ivoire, and approximately 600 kilometres north-west of Abidjan, the commercial capital of the country.
It comprises the 300 km2 Morondo Exploration Permit and four exploration permit applications that have been submitted by Montage totaling 1,143 km2.
The Morondo Exploration Permit hosts the Koné deposit which currently comprises an Inferred Mineral Resource of 52.5Mt grading 0.91g/t for 1.54Moz (based on a 0.5g/t cut off).
The Project is ideally situated near existing infrastructure including grid power, transport and water resources.
Mineral Resource Statement
Morondo Gold Project
|Mt||Au (g/t)||Au (koz)|
|Mt||Au (g/t)||Au (koz)|
- Inferred Mineral Resources are reported in accordance with NI 43-101 with an effective date of October 3 2018.
- The Koné Mineral Resources are reported on a 100% basis using a cut-off of 0.5g/t and constrained within preliminary pit shells based on a gold price of US$1,500/ounce
- The identified Mineral Resources in the block model are classified according to the “CIM” definitions for the Measured, Indicated, and Inferred categories.
- The Koné Mineral Resource Statement was prepared under the supervision of Mr Jonathan Abbott of MPR Geological Consultants Pty Ltd. Mr Abbott is a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101.
- All figures have been rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates and totals may not add due to rounding.
- Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not necessarily demonstrate economic viability.
Over the last 12 years exploration on the Morondo Gold Project has been run by the same Ivorian and geologists working for a number of different companies but throughout under the direction of Montage CEO, Hugh Stuart.
The application for the Morondo Exploration was made by Red Back Mining in 2008 with soil sampling and trenching leading to the first shallow drilling by Red Back in 2010 just prior to the company’s acquisition by Kinross.
In 2013, Sirocco Gold, run by the ex-Red Back Management optioned the permit from Kinross and completed follow up shallow RC drilling defining the extents of the Koné deposit.
In 2017, Orca Gold, again run by the same ex-Red Back management acquired the full permit package from Kinross for stock and the pace of exploration increased with the first deeper RC drilling, 528m of core drilling to provide samples for initial metallurgical test work and following positive results a 13,360m RC program leading to the Inferred Mineral Resource in October 2018.
Exploration since the formation of Montage in August 2019 has focussed on expanding the knowledge of the Koné deposit at depth and extending surface geochemistry across previously unsampled eastern part of the permit.
The table below summarises the various phases of exploration on the Morondo Gold Project. Despite the long history of the project, with only 28,383m of drilling to date, Koné represents one of the least drilled +1.5Moz gold deposits in Africa and demonstrates the potential upside present in the project.
|Ground magnetics (km2)||4.68||-||-||-|
|Induced Polarisation (km2)||-||-||16.7||-|
|Rock chip samples||61||2||6||-|
|Recon RC drilling (holes/metres)||-||-||-||187/7,639|
|RC drilling (holes/metres)||8/943||43/3,431||64/13,360||7/1,996.3|
|Diamond drilling (holes/metres)||-||-||2/527.8||15/8,125.3|
|Note: Montage figures to September 2020|
Geology & Mineralisation
The Morondo Gold Project lies over the southern part of the Birrimian aged Boundiali Basin and covers the extensions of the regional scale and highly prospective Tongon and Syama shear systems.
The Inferred Mineral Resource at Koné is hosted within a 150-200m wide complex quartz diorite package which dips 45-50° west and strikes north-south, and is interpreted as a series of intrusions rather than a single coherent intrusion. The diorite package is intruded into folded mafic volcaniclastic country rocks. Metamorphic grade in the area is upper greenschist to lower amphibolite facies. A foliation striking north-south and dipping 45-50° to the west is consistent throughout the area.
The hanging wall contact of the diorite package with the overlying volcaniclastic package is well defined by current drilling and is marked by thin dykes of diorite and a 10-20m thick, barren diorite body.
The footwall contact is poorly defined as the majority of the current drilling ends in the diorite and only the deeper core holes have intersected this contact. In the footwall, mafic volcaniclastic rocks dominate the geology and are also intruded by thin, foliation parallel diorite dykes which have weak gold values associated with their contacts. Folds observed in the volcaniclastic rocks typically plunge between 10-40° towards the south west.
The diorites are coarse to fine-grained, grey in colour and composed of domains of plagioclase ± quartz and domains of mafic minerals – dominantly biotite. Grain size variations are common and coarse grained and fine-grained variations are captured by the core logging and often have sharp, measurable contacts which suggests the diorite is a polyphase composite intrusive with multiple pulses of diorite (of the same composition and appearance) intruding into each other. However, the coarse and fine components of the package can also have soft gradational contacts and grade into one another progressively.
Mineralization at Koné is characterized by mineralized true widths of between 170 and 260m at average grades of between 0.5 and 1.2g/t
The diorite intrusion is consistently mineralized with gold associated with 1-3% fine, disseminated pyrite with elevated gold grades related to an increase in the frequency of 1-5mm quartz + calcite + pyrite veinlets which are oriented north-south and dipping 45-50° west, consistent with the foliation.
Hydrothermal alteration is weak and dominated by biotite. Silicification is rare.
Koné has only been subject to 28,383m of drilling to date and there is still much to learn. For example, with the additional drilling an apparent plunge of both the diorite package and mineralization towards the south to south-west is emerging. At present this plunge is poorly resolved and further diamond drilling will target this in the coming months.
Infrastructure & Metallurgy
Resource expansion Potential
Drilling completed by Montage during the course of 2020 has demonstrated the resource expansion potential at depth, extending the known mineralization to 400-450m below surface.
In 2014, SGS Minerals Services UK Ltd, Cornwall performed bottle roll tests on three composite RC samples of fresh mineralization. The samples were ground to 90-microns and leached for 48 hours at 40% solids, 0.5 g/l and an average pH of 10.7.
|Head Assay g/t Au||1.11||0.82||2.71||1.55|
|Gold Recovery, %||96.4||97.6||96.7||96.9|
|Kgs/t CN Consumption||0.12||0.06||0.15||0.11|
|Kgs/t CaO Consumption||0.50||0.52||0.45||0.49|
In September 2018, ALS Global (ALS) in Perth Australia undertook a program of metallurgical testwork on three composite samples of diamond core from Koné, which were designated as the oxide, transition, fresh and FW fresh samples. The FW fresh composite represents an area of mafic volcaniclastics in the foot wall of the Koné Deposit.
|Direct Leach||% at P80 75µm||97.8||96.5||91.4||87.9|
Note: The BWi result for the oxide composite is likely to be significantly overstated, due to excessive fines in the feed material to this test. The BWi was determined at a closing screen size of 106µm
This test work indicates that the mineralization at Koné is amenable to processing via very simple tank leach process flowsheet comprising single stage crusher and a SAG and Ball mill combination with no requirements for flotation or fine grinding.
In October 2020 Montage shipped 2.4t of samples from Koné to SGS Lakefield in Canada for further optimisation and variability metallurgical test work.
Excellent Access and Infrastructure
The Morondo Gold Project and the Koné deposit in particular is ideally situated for development with a major road, currently in the process of being asphalted, running within 1km of the drill site and the regional 225kva power line within 20km.
Potential for Open Pit development
Montage believes that Koné exhibits a number of characteristics that enhance it’s potential to form the basis for a large-scale open pit development project:
- Simple, wide, continuous style of mineralization ideally suited for large scale, low cost open pit mining
- Simple metallurgy amenable to straight forward processing using a standard crush-grind-leach flowsheet
- Low rock hardness requires less power consumption, translating to low operating costs
- With true widths up to 200m and a 45° dip to the west the project should benefit from a low strip ratio
- Location with good, year-round access and close to grid power that will lower unit processing costs and remove the need to self generate project power
- Strong community support and minimal habitation within the project footprint removing the need for resettlement
Exploration & Development Plan
Montage commenced a 50,000m combined RC and diamond drilling program in early October, mobilizing 5 drill rigs to site. The first +/-20,000m will target the expansion of the inferred resources and is scheduled to be complete early in the New Year. It will run concurrently with the other aspects of work that will form the basis for the Preliminary Economic Assessment scheduled for completion in late Q1/2021.
The study will be overseen by Lycopodium in Brisbane, Australia using the following international consultants:
|Metallurgical Test Work:||SGS Lakefield, Canada|
|Resource Estimation:||MPR Geological Consultants Pty Ltd, Perth, Sustralia|
|Geotechnical Study:||SRK, Cardiff, UK|
|Mining Studies:||Carci Consultants, UK|
|Hydrological Study:||GCS Consultants Ltd, RSA|
|Tailings and water storage:||Knight Piesold, Brisbane, Australia|
Following the completion of the PEA the company intends to continue upgrading the Mineral Resource to Measured and Indicated categories and progress directly to Feasibility Studies.
Establishing a Hub in a New District
Once a large scale standalone project is established at Koné, Montage believes it will become the centre of gravity in the district with the potential to exploit numerous small, higher grade satellite deposits the effect of which will be to further improve project economics.