Signature Metals Ltd
Ashanti Gold Belt, Ghana
Signature Metals Ltd is an Australian-listed gold mining company. Its flagship operation is Owere Mines with concessions covering 192km2 within Ghana's renowned Ashanti Gold Belt. Owere holds 100% of the Konongo Project with a gold Resource of nearly 1.5 million ounces.
LionGold Corp owns 76.22% of Signature Metals Ltd from March 2012. Signature owns 70% of Owere Mines, with local partner, Talos Ghana Ltd, holding 20% and the Ghanaian Government, 10%. Talos Ghana has been involved with the Konongo Gold Project since 2004
Owere Mine is situated about 20km northwest of Ghana's capital, Accra, and about 50km from the country's second largest city, Kumasi. The tenements are located about 30m along strike from AngloGold Ashanti's 29 million ounces Obuasi gold mine which produces about 300,000 gold ounces per year from a depth of more than 800m.
Size & Prospects:
Owere's concessions cover 192km2. Sixteen gold surface deposits lie along 12km of strike. Current open pit mining takes place down to 30-35m and is supplemented by old tailings heaps. Limited underground mining has taken place. Previous activities and drilling indicate that grades in the underlying ore body can exceed 8 grams per tonne in zones between 50 and 350 meters and likely extend beyond this depth.
The current Konongo Mining Lease spanning 125km2 was issued in June 2010 and expires in June 2023. The Kurofa Prospecting License covers 67km2 and is under review for renewal.
Plant and equipment caters to the processing of surface oxide ore. These includes a 250 tonne per hour crushing plant, a ball mill, a 250,000 tonnes per annum carbon-in-pulp plant (CIP), a trommel with Knelson concentrator and an RG200 APT gravity plant.
The nearby city of Kumasi offers support businesses and services for the mining industry including equipment supply, mining and earthmoving contractors, and skilled workers and artisans. Kumasi also has an airport with commercial flights daily to and from Accra.
From 1903, approximately 4.4 million tonnes oxide and sulphide-ore yielding approximately 1.6 million ounces of gold at average grade of 11.8 grams per tonne. Underground ore explored but not fully mined.
Gold discovery and colonial mining. Started underground mining from four shafts, mainly in Konongo and Obenemase.
Underground developed to 844m depth with discovery of Odumase-Baobedroo, Awere and Akyenase high grade, free milling gold ore deposits. Produced 1.4 million ounces gold, 2.8 million tonnes ore, recovered grade 15.7 grams per tonne.
A 30 year 125km2 Konongo concession was granted to the State Gold Mining Corp. In 1988, the Southern Cross Mining Ltd joint venture was formed with North Queensland Company Ltd to mine surface oxides. 852,000 tonnes of ore was heap leached, recovering 86,000 ounces of gold at 3.15 grams per tonne from open pits on the Obenemase A/B and Kwakawkaw deposits. Operations ceased due to poor recovery.
Obenemase Gold Mines Ltd acquired 90% of the Mining Lease, with the Ghanaian government taking a 10% stake. A used CIL plant used was added to enhance recovery. Open pit oxide ore mining took place from 1995 to 1997, processing 614,000 tonnes of ore an producing 58,500 ounces of gold at a grade of 2.96 grams per tonne at the Boabedroo, Apan, Atunsu, Aserewa, Obenemase A/B deposits.
Ghana Gold Mines (GGM) acquired 90% of Obenemase Gold Mines, and 19.9% of GGM acquired by Resolute Mining Ltd. A pre-feasibility study was conducted on the on Obenemase A/B deposit and the 95 year old exploration and development database was validated.
Resolute Mining increased its stake in the project to 81%, with the balance held by the Ghanaian government (10%) and the Apollo Group (9%). The mine was placed under care and maintenance in 2002, due to financial difficulties and reverted to the Government. Talos Ghana acquired 90% the Mining Lease from the Government in 2004 and formed the Owere Mines Ltd joint venture with African Gold Plc (Mwana).
Signature Metal's purchased Mwana's 70% stake in Owere.
West Africa has the geologic potential to become among the leading gold producing regions globally. Numerous new gold-mining projects are being developed in Ghana, Berkina Faso, Mali, Liberia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone. Gold production in the greater region has reached 6.7 million ounces in 2010, accounting for nearly 8% of global supply.
Ghana in particular has benefited from foreign investment in the region's gold resources, underpinned by government initiatives and under the auspices of the Minerals and Mining Act 2006. The country has a gold mining history going back over 1000 years and is currently the second largest producer of gold in Africa and the eighth largest globally.
The West African Craton has an Archean core surrounded by younger Precambrian and Phanerozoic greenstone sequences. In Ghana especially, gold (and manganese) mineralisation is concentrated in 10-15km structural transition zones of Palaeoproterozoic meta-sedimentary basins and Birimian meta-volcanic belts within the southerly Man Shield. The Tarkwaian Group consists of a distinctive metasedimentary sequence that occurs along the Ashanti Gold Belt which hosts significant palaeoplacer style gold deposits derived from the erosion of the primary greenstone/granite rock sequences.
Gold mineralisation within the Konongo Project can be divided into four distinct styles, two of which include:
- KONONGO: Quartz reef style, with gold/sulphide mineralisation hosted within narrow, intensely sheared quartz veined and altered transition zone sediments.
- OBENEMASE-KWAKAWKAW, disseminated sulphide/gold lodes hosted within Upper Birimian volcano-sedimentary rocks.
Resources & Reserves
|Konongo Gold Project||Resources||Gold (ounces)||Tonnage (tonnes)||Grade (g/t)|
|Measured & Indicated||779,620||13,100,000||1.9|
For full details of the JORC-compliant statement, please refer to the Technical Report.
|Obenemase||553,120 oz @ 2.50 grams per tonne|
|Boabedroo||273,790 oz @ 2.36 grams per tonne|
|Atunsu||61,850 oz @ 2.54 grams per tonne|
|Old Tailings Dam||61,150 oz @ 1.56 grams per tonne|
|Kwakawkaw||54,575 oz @ 1.72 grams per tonne|
|Value:||S$53.6m for 76.22%|
|Directors & Management|
|Chris Gbyl||Chief Executive Officer|
|Raymond Tan||Non-Executive Chairman|
|Peter Chen||Executive Director|
|Roland Selvanayagam||Non-Executive Director|
|Denis Clarke||Non-Executive Director|
|Adrian Di Carlo||Company Secretary|