Mineral exploration and development involves a high degree of risk, as not all properties being explored can be ultimately developed into producing mines. The company is presently focused on the exploration and development of its flagship Banfora gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. New mines often face a few development/commissioning issues, which need to be addressed. As the project is strategically located in a major gold producing district in the south-west of Burkina Faso, the home to several world class gold deposits, we do not foresee any major issues with the development of the project. However, any unforeseen circumstances could lead to delays in the development. The Banfora gold project is presently in the exploration-stage, and the planned drilling activities are underway at the new satellite targets to upgrade the current inferred resources level. Towards this, the company anticipates a new resource estimate during 2010, followed by desktop and scoping study reviews by end-2010. The company’s future success depends on the successful discovery of additional mineral resources and economically recoverable ore reserves. Once the new resource estimation, desktop and scoping studies are complete, our confidence in the project will further increase.
GRY is headquartered in Perth (Western Australia), but mainly focused on the exploration and development of its Banfora gold project in Burkina Faso. Accordingly, a major portion of its expenses (exploration costs) are incurred in US dollars and Burkina Faso Cefa. Any significant change in currency exchange rates between the Australian dollar relative to the US dollar and Burkina Faso Cefa may impact the company’s results. The company doesn’t have a formalized foreign currency risk management policy so far; rather monitors its foreign currency exploration commitments taking into account exchange rate movements.
Over mid Aug-09 to mid Jan-10, GRY raised total gross proceeds of A$22.0 MM through private placements, which has significantly strengthened its cash position, should support all near-term exploration plans at the Banfora project. However, the company will require substantial amount of funding for the development of its Banfora project in future. As the company doesn’t have positive operating cash flow, it will remain dependent on private placements and external borrowings to raise the required financing. In turn, the availability of financing depends on the progress/outcome of its Banfora project, investor perceptions/expectations, and the prevailing conditions in the financial & metals markets. If the company is unable to arrange the required funding on time, this may adversely impact its future exploration and development plans.
Gryphon Minerals Ltd. (GRY) is a Perth-based mineral exploration company, primarily focused in the exploration and development of gold deposits in West Africa. The company has been actively exploring and developing its 100%-owned flagship Banfora gold project, a green field discovery in Burkina Faso. In addition to the Banfora gold project in Burkina Faso, the company also owns three gold projects (Radio, Duggan, and Eastern Goldfields) and four sulphide nickel projects (Collurabbie South, Mount Rankin, Mount Windarra, and West Bendering) in Australia. However, the company’s shareholders, recently during Apr-10, approved to divest the non-core Australian assets to unlock value of those assets, and to allow the management to mainly focus on the core Banfora gold project and the West African growth plans. The company has four wholly-owned subsidiaries in Australia (Gryphon Minerals West Africa Pty Ltd., Gryphon Minerals Burkina Faso Pty Ltd., Gryphon Uranium Pty Ltd., and Espial Minerals Pty Ltd.) and one wholly-owned subsidiary in Burkina Faso (Gryphon Minerals Burkina Faso Sarl). The company’s shares are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the symbol “GRY”.
The company’s flagship Banfora gold project is strategically located in a major gold producing district in the south-west of Burkina Faso, West Africa, which is home to several world class gold deposits such as Rangold’s Tongon deposit (4.2 Moz Au) about 30km to the south of the project, Resolute’s Syama deposit (5 Moz Au mined and 6.5 Moz Au in resources) about 50km to the west of the project, and Rangold/Anglo Ashanti’s Morila deposit (6.5 Moz Au) about 75km to the north west of the project. The project consists of five continuous exploration licenses covering a large land package of about 1,200 sq. km., and encloses the highly prospective and unexplored Loumana Birimian greenstone belt within Burkina Faso. The project is currently home to a JORC-compliant inferred mineral resources of 14 Mt @ an average Au grade of 2.4 g/t containing 1.1 Moz of Au resources, however, the management views the current defined resource estimate as an interim estimation with significant potential for discovery of multi million shallow gold ounces from the on-going drilling programs at the satellite targets.
During Apr-10, GRY’s shareholders approved to divest the company’s non-core Australian assets to a Western Australia-based newly established gold exploration company, Renaissance Minerals Ltd. (Renaissance). This divestment strategy will not only help to unlock value of its non-core Australian assets, but also will allow the management to solely focus on its flagship Banfora gold project as well as West African growth plans. As part of the divestment strategy, the company has agreed to sell four of its Western Australia-based projects (Radio, Eastern Goldfields, Collurabbie South, and Mount Rankin) in consideration for 10 MM shares (approximately 18% interest) in Renaissance and re-imbursement of up to A$0.2 MM in cash for past exploration expenditure. However, this proposed sale of assets is subject to Renaissance’s receipt of approval for listing on the ASX and successful raising of about A$5 MM (the necessary capital to commence further exploration at these assets). On April 16, 2010, Renaissance filed a prospect for an initial public offer of 25 MM shares at an issue price of AS0.20/sh, to raise a gross proceeds of A$5 MM, with the option to allot over-subscriptions of up to an additional 5 MM shares. According to Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Renaissance is expected to list on the ASX on May 28, 2010 under the symbol “RNS”.
Over mid Aug-09 to mid Jan-10, GRY raised a total gross proceeds of A$22.0 MM through private placements, which has significantly strengthened its cash position, should support all near-term exploration plans at the Banfora project. During mid Aug-09, GRY completed a private placement with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and raised gross proceeds of $2.0 MM through issuance of 10.0 MM ordinary shares at an issue price of A$0.20/sh. Later, over late Nov-09 to mid Jan-10, the company also completed two tranches of private placements with a number of Australia, UK, and North America based institutional investors and raised total gross proceeds of A$20.0 MM through issuance of an aggregate 40.0 MM ordinary shares at an issue price of A$0.50/sh. The company intends to use the net proceeds of the aforesaid private placements for funding its ongoing drilling program targeting further enhancement of resources level at the Banfora project.
In Jan-10, GRY was honored with the prestigious “Explorer of the Year Award for 2009” by the highly regarded Gold Mining Journal magazine for surpassing a million ounce gold resource estimate. Picture XX: Gryphon Minerals – location map of Banfora gold project Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd., Picture XX: Gryphon Minerals – location map of Australian projects Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
GRY’s flagship Banfora gold project is strategically located in a major gold producing district in the south-west of Burkina Faso, West Africa, which is home to several world class gold deposits such as Rangold’s Tongon deposit (4.2 Moz Au) about 30km to the south of the project, Resolute’s Syama deposit (5 Moz Au mined and 6.5 Moz Au in resources) about 50km to the west of the project, and Rangold/Anglo Ashanti’s Morila deposit (6.5 Moz Au) about 75km to the north west of the project. The project consists of five continuous exploration licenses covering a large land package of about 1,200 sq. km., and encloses the highly prospective and unexplored Loumana Birimian greenstone belt within Burkina Faso. Since the commencement of exploration program at the project during 2006, about 90% of all the drilling activities have been focused at the Nogbele and Fourkoura gold deposits, and so far the company’s regional program and soil geochemistry have covered only half of the total project area. In turn, the company has also identified several high priority satellite targets, which offer potential for discovery of world class gold deposits at the Banfora project similar to those of other major gold deposits in West Africa. Picture XX: Banfora gold project – strategically located in a major gold producing district in Burkina Faso Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
Given the Banfora gold project strategically located in Burkina Faso, West Africa, the project offers potential for relatively lower cash costs advantage compared to other major gold producing regions worldwide. The cash costs in West Africa stands at about A$450/oz vis-à-vis about A$600/oz in Australia.
Burkina Faso is one of the most mining friendly countries in West Africa, with strong government support and well established infrastructure. The project has easy access to well developed roads, grid power, water, telecommunications network, regular fuel supply, permanent field camp, and reliable rural workforce. The project is easily accessible by well maintained roads, and is located in close proximity to the Banfora town, which is well connected to the city of Bobo Diolasso (about 100km) and to the country’s capital city, Ouagadougou (about 350km). Furthermore, the grid power is located about 30km from the eastern boundary of the project. Most items needed by the company can be obtained locally or from the Banfora town, about 30 minutes drive from the field camp.
GRY’s Banfora gold project is one of the world’s very few new gold discoveries made during last couple of years with >1 Moz of gold resources. The company started drilling at the project in 2006 and surpassed >1 Moz of gold resources mark in Sep-09, a significant achievement by the world gold exploration standards. The project is currently home to a JORC-compliant inferred mineral resource of 14 Mt @ an average Au grade of 2.4 g/t containing 1.1 Moz of Au resources, of which about 90% remains shallow and above 100m depth. The current defined resource estimate is an interim estimation based on RC/DD drill results from only the Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits, and offers significant potential for discovery of multi million shallow gold ounces from the on-going drilling programs at the satellite targets. A new resource estimate is due during 2010, followed by desktop and scoping study reviews by end-2010. Picture XX: Number of gold discoveries worldwide found per year with >1 Moz million ounces Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd., World Gold Council,
Since the commencement of exploration program at the Banfora gold project during 2006, about 90% of all the drilling activities have been focused on the Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits, which host the current defined inferred resource estimate. The company’s first gold discovery came at the Nogbele deposit, which currently hosts 0.9 Moz of contained Au resource (or about 82% of the current total contained Au resource at the Banfora project). The deposit primarily has two distinct mineralization orientations – east-west trending zones and northwest-southeast trending zones, which should help in open pit extraction with lower strip ratios. These zones typically hosts higher gold grade mineralization, as evident from the best intercepts – 10m @ 13.0 g/t Au (130.0 gram meters), 24m @ 4.60 g/t Au (110.4 gram meters), and 16m @ 5.60 g/t Au (89.6 gram meters). The Fourkoura deposit is located about 7km from the Nogbele deposit, which presently hosts 0.2 Moz of contained Au resources. The company has only drilled 750m or about 25% of the soil anomaly at the deposit, where all drill holes intersected significant gold mineralization, including 16m @ 8.95g/t Au from 30m and 17m @ 9.20 g/t from 16m. As the gold mineralization, at both the deposits, remains open at depth and along strike, and about 90% shallow above 100m depth, this results in lower discovery costs of <US$10/oz. Picture XX: Banfora gold project – location map of Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
GRY’s regional program and soil geochemistry have so far covered only half of the total project area, primarily focused on the Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits. However, the project has several other high priority satellite targets, which offer significant potential for addition of multi-million shallow gold ounces to the current defined resource estimate. Towards this, the company has identified five immediate high priority satellite targets (Samavogo, Ouahiri, Nangolo, Que & Far Que, and Muddi) within a 15km radius of the Nogbele deposit, on which an aggressive 20km RC/DD drilling is presently underway. These immediate high priority targets offer high potential to become future resource growth areas, as evident from the encouraging preliminary RAB drilling results. Picture XX: Banfora gold project – indentified high priority satellite targets Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
The Samavogo target, located about 20km north-east of the Nogbele deposit, hosts a 12km regional shear zone covering a large intrusive, and is similar in style to that of Randgold’s Tongon deposit (4.2 Moz Au). The company recently announced encouraging initial drill results from this target, which returned with significant shallow gold mineralization from the targeted first 2.5km of the structural shear zone. The best intercepts include – 8m @ 4.34 g/t Au from 20m, 4m @ 8.24 g/t Au from 4m, 12m @ 2.64 g/t Au from 44m, 8m @ 2.95 g/t Au from 36m, and 4m @ 4.21 g/t Au from 4m. The gold mineralization was identified in several rock chips within an overall large scale soil geochemical anomaly across much of the target. Moreover, the mineralization remains shallow with <50m vertical depth. Picture XX: Samavogo satellite target – initial drill results Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
The Banfora gold project entirely covers the highly prospective and under-explored Loumana Birimian greenstone belt. The project is also strategically located in close proximity to several world class gold deposits such as Rangold’s Tongon deposit (4.2 Moz Au) about 30km to the south of the project, Resolute’s Syama deposit (5 Moz Au mined and 6.5 Moz Au in resources) about 50km to the west of the project, and Rangold/Anglo Ashanti’s Morila deposit (6.5 Moz Au) about 75km to the north west of the project among others.
The Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits hosts the current defined inferred resource estimate. At both the deposits, mineralization remains open at depth and along strike, and about 90% remains shallow and above 100m depth. Picture XX: Nogbele and Fourkoura deposits – mineralization remains open at depth and along strike Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
The Nogbele deposit mainly hosts two high grade gold mineralized zones – east-west trending mineralized zones and northwest-southeast trending mineralized zones. Within a granodiorite intrusion, the east-west trending mineralized zones primarily host several parallel & sub-parallel zones of hematite/magnetite, silica & pyritic alteration, sericitic schist, and lode quartz veins. In contrast, the northwest-southeast trending mineralized zones hosts little or no quartz veins with moderate to strong hematite, carbonate, sericite, and pyritic alteration. A main shear zone on the western edge of the Nogbele deposit extends south for 30km to Randgold’s world class Tongan gold deposit. Picture XX: Nogbele deposit – step out drill results Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
The Fourkoura deposit is located about 7km from the Nogbele deposit, on the intersection of a main shear corridor and a zoned dolerite intrusive, similar in style to that of the Western Australia’s Golden Mile dolerite. A large historical soil geochemical anomaly extending over 2.5km along strike with several peak values of >1,000ppb gold coincides with this dolerite intrusive. The gold mineralization is hosted within single & multiple sub-parallel zones with intense magnetite, silica, and pyrite alteration, and quartz veins within the dolerite intrusive. Picture XX: Fourkoura deposit – step out drill targets Source: Gryphon Minerals Ltd.,
As of Sep-09, GRY had a JORC-compliant inferred mineral resource of 14 Mt @ an average Au grade of 2.4 g/t containing 1.1 Moz of Au resources at its flagship Banfora gold project, of which about 90% remains shallow and above 100m depth. This resource estimation is based on results from 697 RC drill holes plus 63 RC pre-collars, and 63 diamond drill holes at the Nogbele deposit, and 90 RC drill holes and 1 diamond drill hole at the Fourkoura deposit. At both the deposits, mineralization remains open at depth and along strike. The company’s management views the current inferred resource as an interim estimation with significant potential for discovery of multi million shallow gold ounces from the on-going drilling programs at the project. A new resource estimate is due during 2010, followed by desktop and scoping study reviews by end-2010. Table XX: Gryphon Minerals – mineral resource estimate at the Banfora gold project (as of Sep-09)
GRY’s management team has extensive experience in the mineral resources industry, varying through successful project acquisition, exploration, resource definition, and timely financing. During late Jan-10, the company further strengthened its management team by appointing Mr. Steven Zaninovich as the Non-Executive Board Director and Mr. Matthew Bowles as the Chief Development Officer. They bring together about two decades of resource industry expertise in commercial, M&A, engineering, and project management areas, which fits well with the company’s strategy to become a significant gold exploration and mining company in West Africa. As the company is in the hands a technically accomplished and highly-experienced management team, this, in our view, will take the company forward from the stage of exploration to successful resource development and production. Mr. Mel Ashton (Non-Executive Chairman) also serves as the Chairman of Empired Ltd. and Venture Minerals Ltd. Furthermore, he holds several board appointments, including National Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia, a Director of The Hawaiian Group of Companies, and a Director of Cullen Wines (Australia) Pty Ltd. He holds a bachelor degree in Commerce from the University of Western Australia, and is also a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mr. Stephen Parsons (Managing Director) is a graduate from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with an honors degree in Geology.
He played an important role in the company’s successfully listing on the ASX in Arp-04. Prior to joining GRY, he worked on various technical positions for several junior resource and major mining companies including CRA Exploration and Placer Dome, exploring for a wide variety of commodities throughout Australia. Mr. Didier Murcia (Non Executive Director) has over two decades of experience in corporate, commercial and resource law. He also serves as a Director of Aminex PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and as a Non-Executive Director of Gindalbie Metals Ltd. and Non-Executive Chairman of Target Energy Ltd., both listed on the ASX. He is also the Chairman of a Perth-based law firm, Murcia Pestell Hillard, and the Honorary Consul for the United Republic of Tanzania. Mr. Steven Zaninovich (Non-Executive Director) has close to two decades of resource industry experience in senior management, engineering consultancy, and project management in various West African gold mining projects (all stages of project development from concept to completion). Mr. Hamish Halliday (Management Consultant) has about 15-years of corporate and technical experience in the mining industry. He was one of the founding directors of Adamus Resources Ltd., and played an important role in listing of the company on the ASX in 2001. Prior to Adamus, he worked with Intrepid Mines Ltd. (formerly known as Taipan Resources NL) taking the Paulsens gold project from the grass-roots exploration stage through feasibility. Moreover, he was also instrumental in the acquisition of the GRY’s current Banfora tenement portfolio.
Mr. Brett Dunnachie (Chief Financial Officer/ Company Secretary) is a Chartered Accountant and holds a bachelor degree in Commerce. Prior to joining GRY, he was an audit manager at a major chartered accounting practice. He also serves as the Company Secretary for Avonlea Minerals, Renaissance Minerals, and Venture Minerals. Mr. Shane Hibbird (Exploration Manager, Australia) is a professional geologist with >17-years of exploration experience in gold, PGE’s, base metals, coal, oil & gas, mineral sands, and other industrial minerals throughout Australia, Laos and China. Prior to joining GRY, he worked with various junior exploration & multi-national mining companies, and has experience in grass roots & conceptual exploration to advanced resource appraisal. Some of his recent works involves – the Kanmantoo Cu-Au deposit (Adelaide, South Australia), and the Panton Sill PGE deposit (Kimberley region, Western Australia). Mr. Michael Fox (Exploration Manager, West Africa) has about 25-years of resource industry experience, and has served in several technical management positions with various developing projects and mining operations worldwide. Some of his previous engagements include – IAMGold’s Mupane Gold Mine in Botswana & Rwamagaza gold project in Tanzania, African Gold Resource’s Booro gold project and Armada’s Erdenet copper mine in Mongolia, Western Mining Corporation’s Hill 50 gold mines and Kalgoorlie gold operations in Australia. He has also served as a Sr. Manager for the Bank of Western Australia’s resource project financing and project evaluation. He brings significant amount of resource industry experience to GRY’s management team, will help the company in unlocking the full potential of the Banfora project.
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