UK gold mining firm Acacia Mining Plc has struck high grade gold with an estimated quantity of 1.31 million ounces in Kakamega County. In statement released today morning, Acacia said this is the highest grade in Africa today and there are possibilities of larger quantities gold of a similar grade just a kilometre away from the company’s exploration site.
At the current gold prices of US$1,258 (Sh125,800) per ounce, Acacia’s find is worth Sh164.8 billion.
“Acacia announces a maiden NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 1.31 million ounces of gold at 12.1 grams per tonne on the Liranda Corridor within the Company’s West Kenya Project,” said Acacia in an alert to investors and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The mining firm’s chief executive officer Brad Gordon said the find is one of the highest grade projects in Africa today.
“We believe that this initial resource is a first step in the delineation of a multi-million ounce high-grade corridor. In addition to the Acacia prospect, which hosts all of this maiden resource, we have known mineralisation on the Bushiangala prospect, one kilometre away to the west, with a further three prospective lodes in early stage testing. Whilst Kenya is a relatively new mining destination we are very pleased with the relationships we have built and the support we have received and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders as we progress this highly promising project,” said Gordon.
Cabinet Secretary for Mining Dan Kazungu said Kenya is a geologically rich country, and the government was taking significant steps, such as the ratification of the 2016 Mining Act, to establish a robust legislative framework to support our developing mining industry.
“We are excited about the potential of Acacia’s West Kenya Project, as it could ultimately lead to the creation of a gold mining industry that would have a benefit to our country, economy and people. We look forward to continuing to work with Acacia and welcome their continued interest and investment in Kenya,” said Kazungu.
Work on the Acacia exploration site has been on-going for the last four years and the mining firm says it retains between 30-40 permanent employees.
“At the same time the Company and its contractors have employed
several hundred part-time labourers, field technicians, drill hands and support staff drawn from the immediate areas of exploration activity across the four counties in which we operate (Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya and Kisumu), ensuring that employment opportunities are given locally as far as possible,” said Acacia in the statement.
Yesterday, Acacia announced that it will be spending US$12 million (Sh1.2 billion) on further exploration in areas next to the find with most of the expenditure going to a 45,000 metre drilling programme on the Liranda Corridor. The drilling is aimed at testing the lateral and depth extensions of the Acacia prospect, together with infilling the current resource outline “The drilling is also designed to infill and expand known mineralisation at the Bushiangala prospect to be able to upgrade the unclassified target mineralisation into the Inferred category, and test for lateral and depth extensions to the prospect as we have been doing on the Acacia prospect. It will also test the Shigokho-Shibunane prospects 2-3 kilometres to the southeast along the Liranda Corridor which are large gold in-soil anomalies with positive initial drill results,” said the firm.