Many investors prefer to invest by jurisdiction – some prefer the safer environments of North America and others want the lower costs of South America. There are many reasons that investors choose one jurisdiction over another.
But one company is changing the story by mining in a relatively under-explored gold-mining jurisdiction that many investors have not considered. Goldrush Resources (TSX-V: GOD) is exploring in Burkina Faso. Although they aren't the first company to mine here, they are early movers with a highly skilled team and some promising permits.
Recently, we spoke to Dr. Len Brownlie, CEO and President of Goldrush Resources, a company working exclusively in the West African country of Burkina Faso. We talked about the Company's brief history and what opportunities they are pursuing today.
"Burkina Faso is a highly unexplored country in West Africa," said Dr. Brownlie. "It has good political stability." In the last 5 years there have been 6 gold mines in that country with another 5 to come in the next 2-3 years. It's an excellent place for exploration."
Goldrush Resources entered Burkina Faso as a junior partner about 6 years ago but has since gone on to become an aggressive player in the country's burgeoning gold mining industry: "Goldrush came into Burkina Faso in 2006 as a junior partner with High River Gold," explained Dr. Brownlie. "At that point we were using High River's exploration team, which was an expert exploration team who had discovered 5 different deposits in Burkina Faso. Two of those deposits became mines and another two are probably going to become mines."
Then disaster struck: "In 2008, High River ran into financial difficulties and were taken over by a Russian steel company," said Dr. Brownlie. Because of that, most of the exploration staff left the company. This turned out to be an ideal opportunity for Goldrush Resources. "The exploration staff left High River Gold and we hired them. We have 35 people on the ground right now and they're probably the best exploration team of any independent in Burkina Faso."
Using a very specific business model, Goldrush Resources is working hard in Burkina Faso. Dr. Brownlie explained: "Our model is to be a project generator, to move these permits up to the point where we have a resource then to move them on [to someone else who will develop them]." The Company's focus is to profit from exploration and then to bring in other people to develop the properties into working mines. "I don't think we want to get into a position where we have to hire additional personnel to develop these things to production. We're going to move them on. We have 6 confidentiality agreements in place with mature producers and anticipate being able to announce some arrangements in the near future."
With an expert staff and a clear business model in place, Goldrush Resources has been hard at work, building up its portfolio of permits and doing initial samples to check where the most promising leads are. "Goldrush has 12 exploration permits in Burkina Faso," said Dr. Brownlie.
Two of their permits – Kongoussi 1 and Tikare – make up their flagship project called Ronguen. Initial samples, as well as the success of artisanal mining suggested that it was a promising deposit. Dr. Brownlie gave us some detail about the success of that gold project: "Our last resource update was in 2008 and that was 249,000 inferred ounces of gold at 1.3 grams per ton, 5.9 million tons. We anticipate having an updated resource estimate by the end of April. We've done about 30,000 meters of drilling since the initial estimate. Some of our more recent infill drilling results include 8.77 grams over 23 meters, 8.3 grams over 6 meters, 3.35 grams over 13 meters."
And even though they've been exploring this property for years, they haven't stopped finding new opportunities: "Just [recently] we announced a new discovery on a splay of the main zone, which ran 6.9 grams over 8.9 meters. That included about 12.8 grams over 1.2 meters and 16.3 grams over a meter. So it's very exciting for us to discover a new zone after all this drilling. There's good exploration potential to the new deposit."
That's the company's flagship project, which makes up two of their 12 permits in Burkina Faso. Dr. Brownlie adds: "We have 10 other permits that have some pretty good [opportunities]." Although there wasn't time to review each permit, Dr. Brownlie highlighted two for us:
First, he covered one called Pompoi: "Pompoi is located immediately adjacent to Roxgold Inc.'s Yaramoko Permit. Roxgold has really set the Vancouver Venture Exchange on fire with some tremendous drilling results, high grade deep results. Our permit is about 2.7 kilometers from their drilling activity and their structure trends east-west onto our permit. We've done a little bit of soil sampling and come up with some good results. We've also had two drill intercepts in some preliminary drilling – around 2.3 grams per ton over 2 meters and 7 grams over 2 meters – so there are some early indications that there may be a continuation of the Roxgold mineralization onto our permit."
And then he covered another, called Midebdo: "One of our other projects, Midebdo Permit, is down in the south-central part of Burkina Faso, and it adjoins Ampella's Tiopolo permit. They have 3.1 million ounces. Our permit boundary is less than 10 kilometers from that resource and they have identified a 25-kilometer-long mineralized structure that runs through our property. We're waiting for soil samples on that and expect those by the end of the month as well."
All of the company's projects are outlined on their website.
While gold mining in Burkina Faso isn't entirely new, the country is gaining attention as a growing opportunity for exploration and development. Goldrush Resources has been in the country a relatively long time, which gives it some special advantages that other companies might not have.
Investors who are excited about the possibility of a new gold jurisdiction should take a closer look at Burkina Faso and Goldrush Resources.
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