African Mining Network

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AMN - TANZANIA: SIKA restarts exploration of Itilima

SIKA Resources has resumed its involvement in the exploration and development of the highly prospective Itilima gold and diamond property, an advanced project located in the heart of the Lake Victoria Goldfields. Lake Victoria Goldfields is a gold district with more than 60 Moz of gold in proven reserves.

The 65sqkm Itilima gold and diamond project is situated in Shinyanga, within the regional structural corridor that hosts many of the major deposits in the Goldfields. Itilima is along strike and on trend with the Sekenke mine, Bulyanhulu and Geita mine.

Itilima is also located on the ShinyangaKimberliteProvince, with the well-known Williamson Mwadui diamond mine situated just 25 km to the north. There are 82 kimberlite targets on Itilima, and the two targets drilled to date proved to be diamondiferous kimberlites, based on the chemical signatures and indicator minerals identified.

SIKA says “Tanzania is one of Africa's most stable, mining friendly countries, featuring a progressive and western-oriented political system. Mine development costs in Tanzania are competitive compared with other jurisdictions, and this is a major factor in SIKA choosing Tanzania as a good place to invest.

Some principal features of the Itilima Project are as follows:

• The property covers 65sqkm on the Nzega Archean Greenstone Belt

• Three large operating mines are located on the same prolific greenstone belt stratigraphy

Anglogold Ashanti'sGeita with more than 30 Moz @ 4 grams/tonne

Barrick's Bulyanhulu with more than16 Moz @ 15 grams/tonne

Barrick's Buzwagi with more than 2.6 Moz @ 2.24 grams/tonne

• The property is 25 km south of the Williamson Mwadui Diamond Mine and 150 km south of Mwanza

• The property is readily accessible and within driving distance of main cities in the region where all necessary labour, supplies and technical services can be found

• Airborne geophysical surveys identified at least 82 magnetic, possibly kimberlitic, targets

• Two kimberlite targets drilled to 60 m proved to be diamondiferous.

SIKA president and CEO Kim Harris says: "The company is delighted with this development at a time when the industry is looking for near production, advanced, and promising properties with an existing history of work, including drilling. We know the Itilima project well. Approximately $2.8 million has been spent to date on this property, and the geological and geophysical work was conducted under the supervision of Canadian Qualified Persons. The most recent NI 43-101 Report was prepared in June 2010."

"The company is confident the diamondiferous kimberlites have the potential to be a near-term source of revenue. Based on the work done to date on the gold side, as well as the priority targets identified, the company should be in a position to delineate a resource within 18 months," says Kim Harris.

Lake Victoria Goldfields offers all the infrastructure and professional talent required to run operations, and is host to the largest gold mines in Tanzania. Geita mine has more than 30 Moz of gold, at an average grade of 4 grams/tonne. Bulyanhulu with more than 16 Moz, has been producing gold at an average grade of 15 grams/tonne. Bulyanhulu was commissioned with a capex of $400 million in 2001. Barrick's other mine, Buzwagi, with more than 2.6 Moz was commissioned in 2009 with a capex of $400 million. With an estimated eight-year mine life, Buzwagi is the largest single open pit mine in Tanzania, producing gold at an average grade of 2.24 grams/tonne.

An aggressive work program is already in place. It has been designed to move the Itilima project to an economic assessment stage as quickly as possible subject to availability of financing.

"The first order of the day will be to update the NI 43-101 Reports while zeroing in on the identified priority areas with targeted drilling. We are very excited because we can see the potential and the upside of this project," says Kim Harris.

SIKA Resources is a Canadian gold explorer with four properties in the Lake Victoria Goldfields, Tanzania. SIKA has a team with extensive public company management experience and strong technical expertise in Tanzania and beyond. Tanzania is one of Africa's most stable countries featuring a progressive, western-oriented political system and investor friendly business climate. It is Africa’s third largest gold producer with many prospective regions still underexplored. SIKA's gold projects are located in the Lake Victoria Goldfields, a world-class gold district.

Its flagship property, Ntundu, is located in the foothills of the Siga Hills, contiguous to the historical past gold producer Jubilee Reef. African Barrick'sBuzwagi mine is on trend and just 25 km north of SIKA properties that are hosted in similar geology. All of SIKA's properties are hosted within Archean rocks of the Lake Victoria Goldfields area and are cut by lineaments and structures similar to and in some cases on the same trend as those which host some of Tanzania's largest gold deposits.

News courtesy of International Mining