Stratex International (LON:STI) has found high-grade gold and silver mineralisation in the Tigray province of Ethiopia.
In November last year it optioned-into the Tigray Licence, which hosts the AbiAdi project.
Through a deal with Ethiopian firm Loz-Bez Mining it can earn a 75 percent stake in the Tigray license by spending US$50,000 on due diligence exploration work and a total of US$1 million over a 36 month period – including a 3,000 metre drilling programme.
The company has now revealed that the due diligence exploration work on AbiAdi has unearthed grades up to 48.9 gold and 470 grams per tonne silver.
At AbiAdi Stratex took 212 rock samples and 43 percent had gold grades above 0.1 grams per tonne gold and 16 percent had more than 1 gram per tonne silver. Notably 5 percent of the samples had more than 100 grams per tonne silver.
"These excellent results from AbiAdi underpin the exciting prospectivity of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and highlight the potential of our increasing project pipeline in the region,” Stratex executive director David Hall said.
Geologists have defined a significant corridor of high-grade gold-silver mineralisation which extends over a strike length of nearly 3 kilometres, which bears similarities to Chalice Gold's Zara deposit in Eritrea, which has defined circa 840,000oz gold grading 5.3 grams per tonne gold.”
Hall adds: “The presence of multi-ounce silver with the current silver price above US$30 per ounce enhances the potential economics if the project moves along to development as we hope it will.”
Stratex has decided to exercise its option over the Tigray license, and the AbiAdi project. It plans to fast-track AbiAdi to the drilling phase, but first an extensive rock sampling programme will get underway in the second quarter.
“Based on these encouraging results, and the wider potential of the licence area, we will exercise our option to continue work at AbiAdi to further delineate mineralisation so that we may rapidly progress the project to a drill-ready status before the end of the year,” Hall added.
Meanwhile at the wholly-owned Tigray EEL, which is about 75 kilometres north of AbiAdi, the Stratex team has carried out a licence-wide stream sediment sampling programme. Through this process the company has discovered the Mariam Hill prospect.
It has subsequently carried out selective rock-chip sampling. It found up to 8.65 grams per tonne gold, 205 grams per tonne silver, 0.12 percent copper and 1.32 percent lead from a single rock chip sample.
Also ‘channel-chip’ sampling yielded two continuous intervals with 7 metres grading 0.82 grams per tonne gold and 10 metres at 0.23 grams per tonne gold. Stratex plans to do more work later this year.
Stratex highlights that the gold bearing quartz-vein system has been identified over a 2.86 kilometre strike length, with widths of up to 8 metres.
Hall adds: “The discovery at Mariam Hill is intriguing, showing a similar association of gold with lead in quartz veins and we look forward to examining this further."
In Africa, Stratex has a portfolio of relatively early stage exploration licenses in Ethiopia and Djibouti. As well as its joint venture prospects with Anglo-gold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) - via the Thani Ashanti subsidiary - in the Afar depression, the AIM-listed gold company also number of other interest.
Stratex has an agreement with Thani Ashanti, an AngloGold Ashanti and Thani Investments joint venture company, to fast-track the development of eleven licences collectively known as the Afar Project, located in the Afar Depression of eastern Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The Afar Project includes five exploration licences in Ethiopia and six in Djibouti.
Thani Ashanti has the option to earn a 51 per cent of the project by spending US$3 million.
Earlier this month the partners found epithermal gold in the Asal exploration licence area – one of the Djibouti licenses. This effectively proved that the Afar gold district extends from Ethiopia into the Republic of Djibouti.
Stratex also has a portfolio of more advanced joint venture projects in Turkey.