Quarterly Report 31 December 2006
The quarter brought to an end a very busy and fruitful year in exploration, which resulted in a continual addition of resources at Loulo, reactivation of field activities in the Côte d'Ivoire, on the 3 million ounce Tongon project, a promising target in Burkina Faso and a pipeline of exploration targets across six African countries.
At Loulo, reconnaissance drilling at the Gara deposit, up to 400 metres south of the current wireframe, has confirmed gold mineralisation associated with a blind antiformal fold closure. L0CP117: 5.80 metres at 3.18g/t from 333 metres; L0CP118 : 4.76 metres at 0.64g/t from 409 metres and 6.15 metres at 1.39g/t (including 1.20 metres at 3.70g/t) from 459 metres.
Also on the Loulo mining permit, Faraba is part of a 10 kilometre anomalous structural corridor at surface. Drilling has so far tested a 3 kilometre strike and identified two mineralised pods; a main zone of 360 metres long with an average thickness of 43 metres and an average grade of 2.6g/t to vertical depths of between 100 and 200 metres below the surface. An inferred resource of 6.8 million tonnes at a grade of 2.6g/t for 567 000 ounces has been outlined. The northern zone is 600 metres long, 12 metres wide and an average grade of 2.2g/t. Drilling is planned in 2007 to further test the north and main zones together with an evaluation of the 10 kilometre corridor where an additional 14 dilation zones have been mapped.
During December, a 23 hole, 2 368 metre RC drilling programme was completed over a strike length of 1.3 kilometres at Baboto South, in the north of the Loulo permit. Gold mineralisation is associated with both massive and disseminated pyrite and is hosted in silica/carbonate altered sandstones between hangingwall and footwall shears. The results delineated mineralisation over the strike length, with an average width of 15 metres and grade of 1.8g/t to vertical depths of 95 metres.
The Baboto structure is part of a large plus 5 kilometre mineralised structure which hosts the known targets of Baboto South, Central and North. The targets are open in all directions and combined air and core drilling methods will be employed during 2007 to test the strike extensions as well as the potential for plunging high-grade shoots
To increase the company's knowledge and understanding of the Loulo mineralised district a three year PhD research thesis is being undertaken in conjunction with Kingston University, London, England.
At Morila the regional drilling completed 89 holes for 44 045 metres. The results, although failing to identify an additional deposit, have so far intersected the low-grade (plus 0.1g/t) footprint to the deposit. This data will be used as a vector for follow-up holes to target for higher-grade mineralisation.
Drilling at the Samacline target, approximately 500 metres to the west of the pit and some 400 metres below surface, has also continued during the year. On completion of the current drilling programme a scoping study designed to test amenability of the deposit to a small underground mining operation will be completed.
A six month post doctoral research project has been set up through the Geology Department of the Australian National University and the Research School of Earth Sciences. The aim of this study is to understand the relationship of gold mineralisation to high-grade metamorphism and partial melting of the surrounding sediments. Preliminary results indicate an ore genesis related to the contact thermal aureole of an igneous intrusive.
In Mali South, a 40 by 40 kilometre ground gravity survey has been completed, centred over the Morila deposit. The results return an arcuate anomaly immediately south of the deposit and both to the northeast and northwest of the grid. Modelling is attempting to estimate the depth and type of geological body responsible for these results.
In Senegal, a 10 000 metre RAB drilling programme has commenced to evaluate 12 targets. This will help in prioritising additional targets to Delya, Bambaraya and Sofia for diamond drilling later in the year.
In Ghana, good progress has been made with the completion of first pass regional exploration programmes over Randgold Resources' portfolio of four permits; three of these permits are in the process of being relinquished following unprospective results while the remaining one, Bole in the north of the country, has returned a 14 kilometre long anomalous, in gold, corridor associated with a major regional shear at the contact between granite and greenstone.
Burkina Faso is showing promise following further drilling at Kiaka which has identified a 3 kilometre long mineralised system, within which locates a 1.2 kilometre continuous zone of gold mineralisation, 800 metres of which is 100 to 200 metres wide, grading at 0.8g/t to 1.6g/t and has been drill tested to vertical depths of 200 metres; it is open in all directions. The best intercept returned to date is from KDH05: 73 metres at 2.14g/t (from 41 metres) including 11 metres at 3.40g/t (from 44 metres) and 14 metres at 3.00g/t (from 58 metres). Infill and step out drilling are planned to commence in February. Elsewhere on our 2 000km2 permit portfolio, regional programmes are identifying targets for follow-up work in the coming year.
In the Côte d'Ivoire, with the political situation remaining calm preparations are nearly complete to commence the ~30 000 metres feasibility drilling in February.
In Tanzania, generative work is the driver to build a new portfolio of projects; the team is relooking at the Southern Lake Victoria Goldfield, the Proterozoic mobile belts and new greenstone belts within the Craton.
To help stimulate the 'next discovery', a dedicated 'African hunting team' has been established and commenced a review of the potentially prospective and newly emerging countries on the African continent.
In summary, the company has a quality portfolio of exploration projects in both West and East Africa. It is in a good position to continue its business strategy of organic growth through exploration and its primary objective of discovery and development of world class gold mining projects with the potential for significant returns. This strategy is attested to by Randgold Resources' discovery and development track record, which includes the Morila and Yalea deposits, both operating mines in Mali and the plus three million ounce Tongon project, which is commencing final feasibility stage in the Côte d'Ivoire.