The Directors of Agricola Resources Plc (PLUS ticker AGRI) the PLUS-quoted mineral exploration company are pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Joint Venture agreement with the Minerals Exploration Branch of the Moroccan State Bureau for Mines and Hydrocarbons (ONHYM) over two exploration areas called Ain Kerma and Toufrite. They cover 280.5 sq kms of Tan Tan Province, Guelmin-Es Semara region of Southern Morocco.
The projects are located some 30km ENE of the town of Tan Tan and approximately 50km from the Atlantic seaboard. The areas are accessible from Tan Tan by 15km of main road and drivable tracks in off-road vehicles.
The prospect areas are within, and on the flanks of, a Precambrian inlier called Bas Draa which is situated at the western end of the Anti Atlas Mountains. Numerous quartz veins are known.
The Ain Kerma Project
At Ain Kerma, ONHYM has studied two veins AK-1 and AK-4. The AK-1 structure extends for 400 m and recorded gold surface values range from 0.1 - 6.5 grams per ton gold, with an exceptional value of 147 grams per ton of gold.
The AK-4 structure extends for 800m including a 300m section where recorded surface values range from 4.7 to 56 grams per ton of gold over widths of 0.3 - 1.2m. Some 50 parallel to sub-parallel NW-SE trending structures are frequently filled with quartz. ONHYM has conducted some limited diamond drilling not yet extensive enough to locate a gold deposit.
The Toufrite Project
At Toufrite, gold occurs in a NW-SE trending quartz vein developed within a granitic stock that intrudes a sequence of sandstones and volcanic breccias. The quartz vein extends for 230m and ranges in width from 1 to 6m. Gold surface values vary from 0.2 to 14 grams per ton of gold with two exceptional values of 21 and 31 grams per ton gold.
There are also base metal and silver values. The vein is somewhat fractured and iron oxides occur along the fractures. A second vein with similar characteristics, albeit somewhat narrower, occurs close by. The structures at Toufrite have not been studied in detail.
The high gold potential of the Precambrian inliers of the western Anti Atlas is illustrated by another of these inliers called Tagragra de Akka. At the Iourirn deposit, gold in quartz veins is currently being mined by the Akka Gold Mining Company, a subsidiary of the Managem Group. A resource of 2.4 million tones grading 12.5 grams per ton Au was initially estimated. The Iourirn deposit is situated some 230km ENE of the Ain Kerma - Toufrit Area in a similar Precambrian inlier.
Joint Venture Agreement
Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Agricola will have management control of the exploration phase and will spend 100% of the exploration budget from now on. If an exploitable deposit is located, Agricola will pay ONHYM a 2% net smelter return thereafter. ONHYM will have the option to retain a 30% interest in the exploitation and development company.
Agricola Resources PLC's consultant geologist Paul Hugman states that at Ain Kerma "high gold values are associated with iron oxides filling fractures and occasionally coating cavities in vein quartz.
The gold occurs late in the paragenetic sequence and could well have been deposited under epithermal conditions''
Commenting Dr Robert Young Agricola Resources PLC Chairman stated -
"It is a good time to get into an exploration area with high gold values as gold has been trading recently at all time highs and the Company are optimistic that the gold price will continue to trade at viable levels.
Morocco is offering excellent exploration terms and we have established good working relationships with ONHYM at senior levels. The areas of the licences have little or no vegetation cover, which means that high resolution aerial photography should be able to define areas of alteration associated with gold mineralization and help with the initial work of finding areas with high fracturing.
Following the disposal of our Swedish assets for the sum of £71,110 and the raising of further funds from Shareholders, Agricola is now debt free and has been able to establish this joint venture in Morocco which has a long history of gold production."
The Directors are responsible for the contents of this announcement.