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Gunson Resources starts drilling at mineral sands project in Tanzania


Gunson Resources (ASX:GUN) has recently completed a two week mapping and pan sampling program across a number of priority target areas in its 2000 square kilometre Tanzanian mineral sands portfolio. 

Auger drilling has now commenced with an initial focus on the Southern Projects including the Madimba tenement.

This program has confirmed the prospectivity of known heavy mineral sand (HMS) occurrences and potential extensions to these occurrences in preparation for the shallow drill testing. 

It has also generated new drill targets based on the delineation of previously undiscovered significant HMS occurrences.

Early findings from reconnaissance and early drilling of the Southern projects will be updated over the coming weeks.

In addition, Gunson has secured another key tenement in the Southern Project Area adjacent to the high priority Madimba project currently being drilled. 

This 100% acquisition of the tenement known as Ziwani adds 76 square kilometres to the project area and extends the strike potential of the Madimba HMS anomalies by an additional 5 kilometres.

This regional program has been completed using Gunson's exclusive country wide geochemical HMS database with a focus on the Northern and Southern Project areas, and the Mafia Island project off the central coast of Tanzania.

Evidence of modern accumulations of high grade HMS mineralisation was identified at a number of coastal locations within the Mafia Island tenement. 

The significance of the high water tide concentrations indicate a significant source of heavy mineral, and that modern shore line processes are concentrating the heavy mineral.

Gunson has taken HMS samples for mineral assemblage characterisation of the modern beach accumulations. 

It is anticipated that any older strandlines discovered by the company will have similar ratios and percentages of the valuable heavy mineral species. 

This represents a compelling priority target and exploration will involve auger drilling the coastal plain targeting older paleo-shorelines with potentially high grade strandline-related mineralisation.

Northern projects 

The Kitambula Project is located just 50 kilometres south of the operating Kwale Mine of 262 Mt at 3.7% HM, and is close to the port town of Tanga. 

In preparation for targeting of auger drilling, the key areas of the 35 kilometre contiguous tenement package, including the recently granted southern tenement were visited.

It is the site of recent shallow auger drilling which included an intersection of 2.9 metres at 3.38% Total Heavy Mineral (THM) from surface to end of hole. 

Surface examination revealed enrichment of HMS in the drainages and sands eroding from the site with a pan sample of the soil estimated to contain 3 to 4% HMS mineralisation which confirms the laboratory assay of 3.38% encountered in the drill hole. 

The surrounding auger holes also contained shallow intervals of 1 to 2% THM. Historic air core drilling 1.5 kilometres to the south east returned 22 metre at 2.43% HMS from surface, 6m at 6% THM from 35 metres, and 7 metres at 4.15% THM from 4 metres.

The results have shown an impressive percentage of valuable heavy mineral (VHM) with 74.4% of the THM containing 63.9% ilmenite, 6.2% rutile and 4.1% zircon. 

Follow-up exploration of this high priority area is planned for early 2015 and will involve additional infill auger drilling followed by a maiden aircore drilling program. 

Based on the work to date in this region, Gunson is targeting strandline style HMS mineralisation over a strike length of 2 to 3.5 kilometres with high quality grade and assemblage characteristics.

The recently granted southern tenement was evaluated for strandline and dunal styles of HMS mineralisation.

Strong concentrations of HMS were discovered at a number of locations, with one roadside cutting revealed strong accumulations of heavy mineral in the drainage. 

A north trending elevated ridge was identified from detailed topographic maps. This was followed up with pan sampling showing 2 to 4% HMS. 

Significantly there is no previously recorded exploration of this new target.

The existence of a large accumulation of sand thought to be related to a dunal system located entirely within the tenement was also confirmed. 

The red brown sand ridge is greater than 5 kilometres in length and at least 2 kilometres wide. The surface sands were well sorted, fine to medium grained and contained low clay contents. 

Thickness of the sandy unit is estimated to be between 60 and 100 metres and Gunson will now look to test the HMS potential of the dune with initial auger drilling followed-up by deeper aircore drilling.

Additionally, grid based auger drilling will be employed to test the larger tenement position. Auger drilling of the Kitambula Targets is planned to commence in early 2015 following completion of the southern auger drilling campaign.

Southern projects - New acquisition

The Madimba project is close to the port town of Mtwara. Historical surface sampling delineated a 6000 metre long heavy mineral sands anomaly with peak values of up to 3%. 

Significantly the anomaly is located at the base of a topographic high and may represent a potential paleo-strandline. 

In addition the anomaly is located adjacent to the major Rovuma River which has transported mineral sands hundreds of kilometres from the interior of the Africa. 

The database shows previous regional samples at Mtwara contained up to 4.35% HMS with elevated rutile and zircon with a combined total of 8%. 

The Madimba targets are currently being auger drilled.

Historical geochemical data and recent reconnaissance work on the new Ziwani Project indicates potential for a number of linear paleo-strands, each approximately 2000 metres long with initial surface evidence of over 2% heavy minerals. 

In addition, there is at least 5 kilometres of prospective strike continuation between this prospect and the 3% THM soil anomaly identified at Madimba to the south that remains virtually unexplored. 

The majority of this 76 square kilometre tenement remains unexplored and requires systematic testing given the significant anomalism and proximity to the regionally significant Rovuma River to the south, a potential source of HMS.

Forward exploration 

The specialist mineral sands and in-country team will follow this 6 week reconnaissance and auger drilling program with an intensive 6-12 month campaign on priority targets, with a view to delineating at least one significant resource area near key infrastructure. 

The team will also continue to press its strategic advantage in the region through application of its exclusive country-wide heavy minerals geochemical database.

Dominant Tanzanian mineral sands footprint

Gunson now controls a dominant mineral sands exploration position along the coast of Tanzania, within a major world class mineral sands corridor. 

This is the result of careful targeting over a 3 year period by recently acquired private group, Strandline Resources.

These projects are surrounded by some of the world’s major world-class mineral sands mines in neighbouring Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa.

Prospective areas held by Gunson include five projects along the coast where tenure contiguously covers 35 to 50 kilometres of coastline exposure, and cumulatively over 200 kilometres of strike.


Gunson is moving fast to test the exploration potential of its mineral sands tenements with commencement of drilling immediately after completing their acquisition.

Exploration will focus on known areas to extend existing mineralisation and test high priority zones that have never been drill tested.

The company will then carry out an intensive campaign on priority targets to delineate at least one significant resource area near key infrastructure.

All targets are within 20 kilometres of the coast, close to ports and other key infrastructure. 

Gunson is targeting scalable, high grade, high quality, high value mineral assemblages close to infrastructure that have potential to be rapidly brought into production.

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