Omai finds high-grade gold in abandoned pit, to launch drilling campaign next year

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Omai Gold Mines Limited (OGML), which returned to the Wenot and Fennell pits at the Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) site earlier this year after leaving Guyana in 2015, will soon be pressing forward with a 5,000-meter drilling programme after finding gold 150 meters below the depth at which the pit was previously mined.

The promising findings emanate from assays done on untested cores from a 2012 drilling programme that were preserved by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

According to a statement from the company, the results from the pits indicate high-grade gold.

“The assay results from the first two of these holes, 12WED11 and 12WED13, which were never logged or sampled, indicate that high-grade mineralization extends below the Wenot Pit and there is expansion potential of gold mineralization to new sedimentary targets,” Omai announced.

According to Omai, visible gold was found in the first hole, with the assay finding 29.19 grammes per ton (g/t) of milled ore. Omai said there is gold at least 150 meters below the Wenot put, with no signs of any decrease. And according to Chief Executive Officer of Omai Gold Mines, Mario Stifano, the results are promising considering their plans for a 5,000-meter drill campaign next year.

“We are very pleased that the results from these two holes confirm that high-grade gold continues beyond the limits of the Wenot shear and the Wenot Pit to the south within the sedimentary package, and that mineralization from the Wenot Pit continues at least 150 meters below the depth of the historical pit that was mined. These results support our planned initial 5,000-meter drill program beginning in the new year,’ he was quoted as saying.

Under its former management, Cambior, the Omai gold mine historically produced 3.7 million ounces of gold from the Fennell and Wenot open pits. But experts have posited that this has hardly scratched the surface and that Omai is far from mined out.

In an interview with this publication back in October, Omai’s Vice President of Exploration, Dr Dennis LaPoint had expressed the view that Cambior would have continued its work on the Fennell and Wenot pits and churned out millions of ounces of gold, were it not for their financial difficulties.

“I’ll give you the example from the Roosevelt mine in Suriname, where I worked. When they put that in production, they had a resource of about 2 million ounces. And with this drilling, they increased it to about 10 million ounces. Hopefully, we can do the same here. But we have to have the drill results to support that. The drilling Cambior did was very focused on developing the two pits.”

“But they didn’t have the resources to expand those resources outside of what you see they mined. So, we have to come in and expand those resources. So, the concept people have that they’re mined out, is not true. It’s not mined out. It’s just that at the time, with the gold price, they could not afford to expand the operations. Nowadays with the gold price, we can do that,” LaPoint had said.

It was only last month that Omai Gold Mines, which is aiming to reclaim its place as Guyana’s top gold producer, had announced the impending resumption of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange following the recent reverse takeover of Avalon Investment Holdings.

The company also got a new board of directors, including Stifano, Denis Clement, Adam Spencer and Paul Fornazzari; Executive Director and Founder Harvey McKenzie; Chief Financial Officer and Secretary Denis LaPoint; Vice President of Exploration, Jason Brewster and Vice President of Operations, Nadine Miller.