BRITISH exploration giant Panthera Resources has announced that its associated company Moydow Holdings has commenced drilling at its Paimasa Project in Nigeria in a major gold mining operation aimed at developing the country’s solid minerals industry.
With global crude oil prices in the doldrums, Nigeria is being forced to diversify her economy and solid minerals is one of the sectors thought to have huge potential. Unlike many of her West African neighbours such as Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Nigeria does not have a thriving gold industry and has not tapped into the potential of the sector.
Panthera Resources is a diversified gold exploration and development company with assets in West Africa and India. Its Nigerian operations will involve Moydow drilling in conjunction with a joint venture company Gurara Holdings.
In an announcement sent to the London Stock Exchange, Panthera Resources explained that the Paimasa Project is located in central Nigeria, approximately 115km north-northwest of Abuja. It added that a programme of 300m diamond and 1250m reverse circulation drilling is proposed.
Previous drilling by Moydow in nearby tenements at the Dagma prospect, approximately 45km to the north-northwest, resulted in the identification of significant gold mineralisation within quartz veins discovered by artisanal miners. Highlights of the project include extensive artisanal mining activity on several sub-parallel quartz veins.
According to Panthera Resources, there was no previous drilling in the strategic new frontier in West Africa, adding that there is additional target at the Mint prospect, approximately 1.5km away, along strike with similar veining, offering the potential for a largescale mineralised system. It added that the site has excellent infrastructure as it is only 115km from Abuja and has a strong local partner in PW Nigeria Mining, which has significant in-country infrastructure and logistics.
Moydow’s existing Nigerian projects are located within the Benin-Nigerian Shield which is comprised of Archaean and Proterozoic basement rocks (migmatites and gneisses) that have been remobilised during the Pan-African orogeny 650-550m years ago. According to Panthera Resources, within this shield area, elongate zones of schist occur that are interpreted as metamorphosed volcanic-sedimentary belts.
A company spokesman said: “While these rocks are not generally as prolific a host for gold mineralisation as the Kenema-Man Shield that occurs to the west, separated by a major continental scale zone of thrusting and faulting, there is nevertheless significant artisanal gold mining activity throughout the sequence, particularly within the schist belts. To date, Moydow has focussed on the northern block (Dagma), approximately 45km to the north-northeast of Paimasa and has conducted geological mapping, soil sampling, trenching and drilling.
“Results from the initial 8 drill-hole shallow drilling programme at the Dagma project have confirmed the presence of multiple sub-parallel zones of gold in quartz veining identified by artisanal miners, with best results. So far, results are very encouraging, being the first drilling into a totally new project and confirm the presence of significant gold mineralisation in the district.”