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Kilo Goldmines
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Kilo Goldmines is focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is drilling several past producing gold mines, with the ultimate aim of developing projects to full production. The management team has a history of success working in Africa and has three joint ventures in a land holding of more than 4,500 sq km. An updated...

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Kilo Goldmines yet to reveal its full potential, says boss van Hoeken

The Democratic Republic of Congo may not be every investor’s cup of tea given its turbulent past.  However, in Alex van Hoeken the company has a DRC veteran, who knows the country, the local politics and the mining sector well, having operated there since 1999.

The 70 per cent surge in the Kilo Goldmines (CVE:KGL) share price in the last two months suggests investors are starting to tune into the story.

However, if it fulfills a small portion of its potential, then this could be just the start of the revival.

I use the word revival deliberately, because a closer inspection of the share price chart reveals there have been more ups and downs (mainly downs) than a Coney Island roller coaster in the last few years.

A loss of faith in the previous regime saw the appointment of Alex van Hoeken, and with him, a new management team. 

Chairing the group is David Netherway, one of the mining sector’s best known and experienced campaigners.  He has successfully built, operated, and sold several mines in Africa which provided good returns for shareholders.

And it is his and van Hoeken’s task to extract the maximum from the Kilo’s assets. 

Its flagship project is the Adumbi gold deposit and satellite prospects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

However, it also has a fledgling iron ore exploration joint-venture with Rio Tinto in the DRC, and is in exclusive negotiations to acquire an iron ore block in Afghanistan.

The Democratic Republic of Congo may not be every investor’s cup of tea given its turbulent past.

However, in van Hoeken, the company has a DRC veteran, who knows the country, the local politics and the mining sector well, having operated there since 1999. 

He said: “It is not everyone’s destination. But if you want to look for value, you have to go to places where there is untapped potential.”

That potential for Kilo lies in the north-eastern corner of the DRC, which bears a resemblance to the prolific greenstone belts of Tanzania.

Adumbi is in the Ngayu greenstone belt. It covers 606 square kilometres and has a 43-101 resource of over 2 million ounces at 1.37 grams per tonne, which has the potential to be an open-pit mine thanks to its favourable geometry and low stripping ratios

The company holds 71 per cent of the project and has an exploitation licence that runs until 2039and will finance it to bankable feasibility study stage. Contract clauses are in place which could potentially increase the ownership to 95 per cent.

The gold itself is hosted in a banded iron formation and is part of a gold bearing structure in excess of five kilometers. 

However, within a three-kilometre radius there are seven further prospects, which suggests there is more to Kilo than meets the eye. Significantly, the other prospects are hosted in a different lithology, which means that the entire concession could be prospective. 

Historic production in excess of 300,000 ounces shows there is minable gold in the vicinity as does the artisanal mining which is quite widespread in the area.

In fact an aerial view of the area reveals these artisanal workings coincide with some of the company’s most exciting targets. 

Drilling results from the Canal prospect underline the potential of the company’s land package. Its best sections included 12.6 metres at 7.7 grams a tonne and 11.45 metres at 3.3 grams.

Equally impressive are the 4.7 metres at 9.37 grams per tonne from nearby Manzako and the 3.3 metres at 6.71 grams from Kitenge.

“The project was previously presented as  two million ounces, with one or two (million more ounces) upside,” said van Hoeken.

“When I went onsite and looked at the data I realised there was more to this than initially meets the eye. 

“The two millions ounces is just part of the puzzle. As you fly over the property you see all the artisanal workings lining up, and start to get an idea of the potential. 

“There are a lot of artisanal workings that line up along the strike. The risk is not geology, it is execution.”

Away from gold, but staying in the DRC, the group has an iron ore joint venture.

KWR is a 100 kilometre north-west to south-east trending itabirite belt, with high-grade direct shipping ore potential.

Exploration is currently focused on a 10 square kilometre area around Asongo Mountain.

Elsewhere, the company, in concert with private investor David Buckle, has been named preferred bidder for Block A of the Hajigak iron ore project in Afghanistan.

It has a non-compliant resource of 485 million tonnes at 62 per cent iron. Nearby blocks B, C and D, which have been awarded to an Indian steel consortium, have an estimated 1.4 billion tonnes.

“We cannot talk about it until we have finalised the agreement,” said van Hoeken.

“It will be a completely separate company with separate management but Kilo will participate in the upside, and I am on the board of directors.”

The latent potential of the group’s assets has been spotted by a very high calibre investor base. 

It includes mining industry movers and shakers such as Macquarie and Randgold Resources, as well as a number of investors with a track record for picking winners including Pinetree Capital and Sprott Asset Management.

“We have real ‘a-class’ investors,” van Hoeken agreed. “I plan to reward their faith in the company."

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