- The Canadian gold mining company Etruscan Resources announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the Youga Gold Deposits in Burkina Faso from the Ghana-based multinational Ashanti Goldfields. Etruscan has also acquired a 100 percent interest three neighbouring exploration permits.
The Youga Gold Deposits have a reported resource of over 1.2 million ounces and the project is fully permitted for mine development by the Government of Burkina Faso, Etruscan informs in a press release today.
Etruscan earlier has also acquired a 100 percent interest in the Zerbogo, Bitou and Bitou East exploration permits of Burkina Faso, which cover 394 km2 of prospective ground in the same geologic belt that hosts the Youga Gold Deposits.
The Canadian junior mining company - focusing on the exploration and development of gold properties in West Africa and diamond properties in South Africa - thus is becoming one of the main gold miners in Burkina Faso.
Etruscan, through its wholly owned subsidiary Cayman Burkina Mines Ltd. ("CBML"), holds a 90 percent interest in Burkina Mining Company ("BMC"), a Burkina Faso company which has been granted the rights to exploit the Youga Gold Deposits. The remaining 10 percent of BMC is held by the government of Burkina Faso.
The Canadian company said today it "intends to advance Youga to commercial production in the shortest possible timeframe." Preliminary results from a 5,000-meter core drilling program being carried out by Etruscan are anticipated shortly.
The Youga project area is situated in the province of Boulgou, Burkina Faso, about 180 kilometres southeast of Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital. The deposit site is accessible by a 2-hour drive from Ouagadougou via 70 kilometres of paved highway and 120 kilometres of recently upgraded laterite road. Youga is four kilometres north of the Ghanaian border.
The Youga Exploration Permit was first issued by Burkinabe authorities in 1991 to Incanore Resources. Between 1996 and 1999, Ashanti acquired a 50 percent interest and the project became the property of a 50/50 joint venture between Ashanti and Echo Bay. Ashanti has acted as project operator since 1996.
In April 2003 the Burkinabe government granted an Exploitation Permit for Youga to Burkina Mining Company covering 29 km2. This permit is valid for 20 years and renewable for additional 5-year periods. The permit application process required the submission and approval of both an Environmental Impact Study and an Environmental Impact Assessment. These provisions have been undertaken, Etruscan says.
With the addition of the Youga Gold Deposits, Etruscan's total gold resource inventory now stands at 3.1 million ounces. Etruscan holds a 40 percent interest in the 2 million ounce Samira Hill Gold Project under construction in Niger, and was recently granted the Agbaou Permit in Côte d'Ivoire, which has an independently reported resource of 1.1 million ounces, the company states.
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