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Boost as UK firm makes major gold find in its Western Kenya mines

Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu displays a bar of gold produced at Goldplat’s new processing plant in its Kilimapesa mines at Lolgorien, Narok County. (Photo: Courtesy)

UK-based Acacia Mining has announced a “major” gold find at its mines in Western Kenya.

The firm has been prospecting for gold in Kisumu and Siaya counties, where it said it had struck gold.

Chief Executive Brad Gordon said the company would give a detailed report on the gold resources found in the region before the end of this quarter.

“We continued to invest into our exploration portfolio and are poised to announce a maiden resource on the West Kenya project, in which we strategically increased our interest to 100 per cent in 2016,” said Mr Gordon in a Tuesday update to investors on the firm’s performance last year.

Preliminary studies show the area has up to one million ounces of gold, with a grade of around 10 grammes per tonne of gold.

This is fairly high, considering the highest gold in the world has a grade of about 14 grammes per tonnne of gold, which is from a South African mine.

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The firm, which has operations in neighbouring Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Mali, bought out its joint venture partner in the Western Kenya mines in August last year at a cost of Sh503 million. Lonmin held a 49 per cent stake in two mining licences in the area

“Following the completion of the agreement, Acacia has full exposure to an exciting and highly prospective land package in Kenya, including our most advanced project, the Liranda Corridor,” said Mr Gordon.

“Acacia continues to intersect high grade gold zones at the Bushiangala and Acacia prospects along the Liranda Corridor where drilling indicates the potential for a new gold camp.”

Acacia towards end of last year said it had bumped up the money it is would be spending in Kenya in the exploration and production of Gold.

The firm plans to spend Sh1.2 billion this year as it works towards starting gold production as well as intensify the search for more resources in the region. “In 2017, we have increased the budget for the project to $12 million (Sh1.2 billion), which is primarily designed to scope out the size of the existing shoots (lateral and depth extensions), and to infill gaps between holes in order to increase the scale and confidence of the resource as we move through the year,” said Gordon.

“We also plan to test further potential shoots within the Liranda Corridor along strike to the east. Further to this, we will undertake regional programmes across the broader 1,600 square kilometre licence area.”

The find by Acacia Mining comes hot on the heels of another find in its Goldplat’s operation in Narok, where the firm operates the Kilimapesa Gold Mine. According to the company, Kilimapesa mine has a total resource of 8.72 million tonnes of gold. Goldplat produced 2,000 ounces of gold in the financial year to June last year and expects to push up the production to 6,800 ounces this year.

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