Rock chip samples taken from the Solomon Gold and Newmont Mining joint venture at Mbetilonga have returned high grade copper and gold results as well as strong silver and molybdenum grades.
The samples from the Kolokepi and Ngalimane prospects in the eastern Mbetilonga area have included 0.26% copper and 159 grams/tonne gold; 13.45% copper, 3.43 grams/tonne gold, 129 grams/tonne silver and 2510ppm molybdenum; and 40.7% copper, 0.89 grams/tonne gold and 1190 grams/tonne silver.
The mineralization and alteration observed indicate a variety of possible vein and altered limestone hosted or skarn targets. There is also evidence of porphyry copper-gold mineralization.
Newmont has started drill testing of the Vuanimaho porphyry targets. The Vuanimaho, Kolokepi and Ngalimane prospects lie in the eastern corridor, a 3km-long zone of highly altered and mineralized rocks on the eastern side of Mbetilonga. The Mbetilonga Project is highly regarded and exhibits numerous areas of very high copper and gold mineralization coincident with porphyry-style magnetic signatures.
Four additional diamond holes have been drilled at the Chikora prospect in the Koloula Valley by the joint venture in addition to the two drilled by Solomon Gold in 2007 and 2008. The results from the first two drill holes, from the drilling campaign which began last August, include 152 metres @ 0.25% copper from 85.1 metres and 135 metres @ 0.25% copper from 152 metres in CK004. The result from these two holes has resulted in an amended geological interpretation.
The Chikora mineralized system now appears to be defined laterally with the causative porphyry intrusion postulated at depth based on alteration and mineralization trends. The further work program for Chikora has not yet been finalised.
The 2011 work program presented by Newmont will be focused on drill testing the porphyry and epithermal copper gold targets at Mbetilonga, and the porphyry and skarn targets at Sutakiki. Field work will be conducted to advance the Kuma projects and a prospectivity assessment of the Central Project will be made by reconnaissance BLEG sampling. In addition, interpretation of the Chikora/Levisivisi data will be finalized and a minor field mapping program may be undertaken at the Mbina Prospect. The 2011 program includes 5600 metres with 3500 metres at Mbetilonga and 2100 metres at Sutakiki of drilling and a budget of US$6 million is proposed by Newmont.
Meanwhile, drilling by Solomon Gold at the Fauro Island project is confirming the potential for a significant mineralized porphyry at Meriguna prospect. The first hole entered magnetite bearing potassic alteration and mineralization at 450 metres, consistent with the strong magnetic anomalies and porphyry target modelled. The hole is also targeting gold-rich quartz veining encountered in surface trenches.