African Gold Group
The headquarters of African Gold Group (AGG) may be based in Canada, but the interests of its board are firmly focused on the other side of side of the Atlantic Ocean, President and Director Mike Nikiforuk says. Headquartered in Toronto, African Gold Group specializes in the exploration and development of gold deposits in Africa.
Nikiforuk co-founded AGG in 2002 when he and a colleague joined together to pursue opportunities in Africa. “We have built a team over time that has collectively accumulated well more than 100 years of operating experience on the African continent,” he says.
Today, AGG has 11 prospective gold concessions that are consolidated in four standalone projects in Ghana and Mali, West Africa.
“Both countries host significant gold-mining activities,” he says.
A Strong Resource
AGG’s most advanced project is its Kobada gold project, located in southwest Mali. In May 2008, the company filed a National Instrument 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resources estimate for the “Zone 1” deposit, which is located at Kobada.
Zone 1, measuring 1.1 kilometers in strike length, at the time of publishing the resources estimate, contains approximately 740,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 1.25 grams per tonnes of gold at a 0.3 grams per tones of gold cutoff, the company says.
Zone 1 represents approximately 10 percent of the 12-kilometer anomalous Kobada Trend, which is currently the subject of ongoing exploration and development work that is intended to substantially increase the mineral resources estimate.
Nikiforuk notes that the company’s focus is geared to the development of the near surface oxide resource, contained within the first 100 vertical meters from surface.
Nikiforuk explains that the company has retained a Montreal-based engineering group to generate a preliminary economic assessment or scoping study that will result in an update of the current resource.
“This year, the goal of our 2011 field program is to bring visibility to the 2 million ounce threshold, as an interim target,” he says. “We have increased the mineralized strike length of the Zone 1 deposit from 1,100 meters to approximately 3,300 meters and we remain open in both directions [and at depth].
“We are firmly convinced that Kobada will ultimately yield up to 3 million ounces within the oxide profile of the deposit alone,” he continues. “The eventual development of the deeper sulphide mineralization will only add to Kobada’s potential.”
This will make Kobada a significant deposit to the regional players with a production profile in the West African theatre, the company believes.
“Three million ounces is a significant resource for the companies that are grouped in the mid-tier to major category,” Nikiforuk says.
He predicts that AGG will start production on Kobada within the next 36 months. “We envision we would be somewhere in the magnitude of 10,000 tons per day,” once the mine is fully operational, he says.
AGG has employed many locals in the exploration of both its Mali and Ghana properties. In Mali, “Depending on the activity, we can have well more than 100 employees engaged in field activities,” Nikiforuk says.
“We have a similar profile in Ghana,” Nikiforuk continues. “Some of the local talent is well-educated and fluent with advanced software programs.
“They’re proving to be a tremendous asset and just a pleasure to work with,” he states. Mali, in particular, has appreciated the firm’s presence.
“Any form of economic stimulation is welcome in Mali,” Nikiforuk says, adding that AGG is working in a relatively isolated part of the country.
AGG also has been careful to show respect to the environment as it has operated in both Ghana and Mali. “We’re in the exploration and development phase of the business, so our ‘footprint’ is relatively small and it is therefore not difficult to be operating and adhering to all forms of environmental sensitivities,” Nikiforuk states. EMI