Burkina Faso is one of the largest and fastest-growing gold producers in Africa and is one of the top jurisdictions for investment attractiveness in Africa by the Fraser Institute. The country is a well-established mining jurisdiction that continues to generate major gold discoveries, has a low cost of discovery, significant low-cost gold production and in recent years has experienced multi-billion dollar industry consolidation. Mine construction and development has been continuous for many years with the most recent development being West African Resources' (ASX:WAF) 250,000 ounce per annum Sanbrado Gold Mine. Orezone Gold (TSXV:ORE) recently announced $182 million in financing for the construction of the Bomboré Gold Project in Burkina Faso and West African Resources' have recently completed a $200m acquisition of B2Gold's Kiaka Project.
The country hosts 12 operational and developmental gold mines with annualized gold production of over 2 million ounces. Several mining companies have notable projects in Burkina Faso including Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV), West African Resources (ASX:WAF), Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI) and IAMGOLD (TSX:IMG). Mining companies operating out of Burkina Faso present a compelling opportunity for investors, particularly given the proliferation of low-cost discoveries, low operating costs and the potential for high-margin gold mines and returns. The most recent example is West African Resources who commissioned the +250kozpa Sanbrado gold mine 2 months ahead of schedule and 10% under budget and is on schedule to retire the $200 million development cost within 18 months of first commercial gold production.
Sarama Resources (TSXV:SWA) is a mineral exploration and development company focused on developing a portfolio of highly prospective gold projects in West Africa. The company's lead project is located in the Southern Houndé belt, one of the most prolific gold belts in Africa which features a growing gold endowment of more than 19 million ounces. The Company's second fully owned project is situated in the neighboring Banfora belt which is widely considered underexplored and highly promising.
The company has a large +2,000 square kilometre land package across two 100 percent owned projects plus interests in a third project, a joint venture with Endeavour Mining Corp. The company's total attributable resource base exceeds over 3 million ounces of contained gold.
Sarama's 100 percent owned flagship Sanutura Project is a 1,450 square kilometre late-stage exploration project located in the Houndé belt in Burkina Faso and contains ~3 million ounces of gold in resource, including over 2 million ounces of high-grade material grading +2 g/t gold and 1 million ounces of oxides within a pit shell. The project's large oxide and a free milling gold resource will allow a new mine to be financed and established using a simple CIL process flow sheet, lowering technical risk and upfront capital needs.
Sarama Resources' other projects in Burkina Faso include the Koumandara and Karankasso projects. The 100 percent owned Koumandara Project is an exploration-stage project located in the northern Banfora greenstone belt and exploration has delineated 100km of gold anomalism with the largest gold anomaly being over 35 kilometres in length and 3-5km kilometres in width. Scout drilling has encountered multiple high-grade gold occurrences including more than 10 g/t of gold in RC and auger drilling and 4 g/t of gold in gold-in-soil sampling. The Karankasso Project is a joint venture with Endeavour mining and is an exploration-stage project which hosts 700,000 ounces of gold in resource.
The company is working towards gaining an ASX listing after which the company is planning an aggressive 50,000-metre drilling program across multiple prospective targets on the Sanutura Project with the aim of growing and updating the project resource. The company plans to use the updated resource to generate a PEA and commence feasibility preparation-work by the end of 2022. The company is optimistic that mine development on the Sanutura Project will require relatively modest up-front capital expenditure and yield rapid payback with high margins in the early years and ultimately culminating in a multi-faceted, long-life mining operation.
Sarama Resources believes there is strong upside potential due to the abundant exploration targets on its properties. The company's projects are largely underexplored and have brownfields and greenfields opportunities which will help increase the size, scale and life of the project. These opportunities may provide discoveries and incremental ounces that will ultimately drive high-margin resource growth and potential for regional M&A opportunities.
The company also has a compelling valuation on all comparable metrics relative to its peers. Sarama Resources has strong resource grades when compared to companies such as Montage Gold (TSXV:MAU), Orezone Gold (TSXV:ORE) and Newcore Gold (TSXV:NCAU). The company strongly believes that its resource will grow significantly which will substantially increase its enterprise value per gold resource ounce which is currently at US$4.
The company is led by an experienced management team and board, most of whom have more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry and a proven track record of the discovery and development of large-scale gold deposits in Africa. Sarama Resources' CEO was the President of Moto Goldmines and along with a number of the company's key management team was responsible for the discovery of the +20-million-ounce gold resource at the world-class Kibali Gold Mine. The mine was formerly known as the Moto Gold project and is currently operated by Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD,TSX:ABX) and producing 800,000 ounces of gold per annum.
- Sarama Resources' projects span over 2,000 square kilometres in Burkina Faso's Houndé belt, one of the most prolific gold belts in West Africa.
- The company's fully-owned flagship Sanutura Project is a 1,450 square kilometre near-term development project and contains over 2 million ounces of material grading +2 g/t.
- The Sanutura project benefits from significant oxide and a free milling gold resource which creates a low technical risk environment to pay back development and generate significant free cash flow. The relatively modest up-front capital expenditures will allow for a rapid payback and higher margins in the early years which will be followed by a second stage of development adding significantly to the mine life.
- The Karankasso Project is an exploration-stage joint venture project that has 700,000 ounces of gold in resources.
- Sarama Resources' fully-owned Koumandara Project is an exciting early stage exploration project featuring very large gold anomalies and multiple hits of high-grade gold during scout drilling.
- The company is led by an experienced management team and board with more than 30 years of individual experience and proven track records of discovery and development of large-scale gold deposits in Africa, including the multi-million-ounce world-class Kibali Gold Mine.
The Sanutura Project is a 100% owned, 1,450 square kilometre near-term development project located approximately 350 kilometres southwest of Ouagadougou in the southern Houndé belt in Burkina Faso. The Houndé belt features many gold discoveries including Endeavour Mining's 1.6 million ounce Bantou Deposit which is 5 kilometres from Sarama's Sanutura Project. The Sanutura Project hosts a multi-million ounce gold resource within the Tankoro and Bondi Deposits.
The Tankoro Deposit has 0.6 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources and 1.9 million ounces of inferred gold resource. The Bondi Deposit has an inferred gold resource of 0.5 million. The broader Sanutura Project area also contains numerous exploration targets including high-grade prospects at Zanawa and Bamako.
Sarama Resources plans to undertake a resource update in November 2021 and a further resource update after the completion of a planned 50,000-metre drill program, followed by a PEA on its Sanutura Project. The company is confident that mine development on the Sanutura Project will require relatively modest up-front capital expenditure and anticipate high margins early on, allowing for a quick payback and the scope to establish a second stage using operating cash flow.
The fully owned Koumandara project is a 600 square kilometre, early exploration-stage project located approximately 30 kilometres from Bobo-Dioulasso in the northern Banfora Greenstone belt in Burkina Faso. Banfora is relatively underexplored and is considered to be geologically similar to the Houndé belt. The Koumandara project benefits from excellent access to infrastructure and proximity to the regional power grid.
The property features a gold mineralized corridor that overlies a 45 kilometre-long section of a district-scale litho-structural break and to date the company has identified 90 kilometres of strike length of gold-soil anomalies. Reconnaissance exploration on the Koumandara project intersected 10 g/t of gold in RC and auger drilling and 4 g/t of gold values in gold-in-soil geochemistry. Historical scout drilling on the property returned 4 metres at 10.6 g/t gold, 7 metres at 6.9 g/t gold, 15 metres at 1.8 g/t gold, 13 metres at 2.9 g/t, 17 metres at 1.2 g/t gold and 3 metres at 8.9 g/t gold.
The Karankasso project is a 750 square kilometre exploration-stage project. The project is located approximately 130 kilometres southwest of Endeavour Mining's Mana mine and Fortuna Silver's Yaramoko Mine. The Karankasso project is also located approximately 60 kilometres south of Endeavour Mining's Houndé mine and is adjacent to Sarama Resources' Sanutura project. The project is a joint venture with Endeavour Mining whereby Sarama Resources owns approximately 18 percent interest.
The property features mostly narrow quartz vein mineralization. In 2020, the mineral resource estimate on the property was 12.74 million tonnes at 1.73 g/t for 709,000 oz gold, of which Sarama's equity share is 130,000 ounces. The Karankasso project has also returned high-grade hits including 21 metres at 14.6 g/t in the Tiébe zone.
The Karankasso project is operated by Endeavour Mining who are currently reviewing and upgrading historical exploration as well as conducting follow-up work. The operator is focused on exploring the full 50 kilometre long corridor that has been identified through soil anomalies and artisanal workings. The company hopes to identify further mineralization and the core of the mineralised system.
Andrew Dinning - Managing Director and CEO
Andrew Dinning is a founder, managing director and CEO of Sarama Resources Ltd. Dinning is committed to development in Africa and is a board member of The Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG). The AAMEG is a peak body representing Australian companies engaged in the development of Africa's resource industry.
Dinning has over 30 years of experience in the international mining arena. Dinning has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, West Africa, the UK, Russia and Australia. He has extensive mine management, operations and capital markets experience and has spent most of his career in the gold sector. Dinning was a director and president of the Democratic Republic of Congo-based Moto Goldmines Ltd from 2005 to 2009. He oversaw the development of the company's Moto Gold Project (Kibali Gold) from 2 million to more than 22 million ounces of gold. Dinning took the project from exploration to pre-development. The Moto Gold project was later taken over by Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti for $700 million in October 2009.
Dinning has an MBA, a First Class Mine Managers Certificate in Western Australia and South Australia and a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining degree.
John (Jack) Hamilton - Vice President of Exploration
Jack Hamilton is a founder and the vice president of exploration at Sarama Resources. Hamilton has 30 years of experience as a professional geologist. Hamilton has worked around the world for international resource companies. Before Sarama, he was the exploration manager for Moto Goldmines Ltd. in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At Moto Goldmines, he led the team that discovered the main deposits and resource at the world-class Moto Gold Project (now Kibali Gold) which has a resource of more than 22 million ounces.
Hamilton specializes in precious metal exploration in Birimian, Archean and Proterozoic greenstone belts. He has worked and consulted in West, Central and East Africa for the past 20 years with various companies, including Barrick Gold Corporation, Echo Bay Mines, Etruscan Resources Inc, Anglo American, Geo Services International and Moto Goldmines Ltd. Whilst at Moto Goldmines, he led the exploration team that took the Moto gold deposit from discovery to bankable feasibility. The Moto gold deposit was later sold to Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti in October 2009.
Paul Schmiede - Vice President of Corporate Development
Paul Schmiede is a major shareholder and the vice president of corporate development at Sarama Resources Ltd. He is a mining engineer with over 20 years of experience in mining and exploration. Before joining Sarama Resources in 2010, Schmiede was vice president of operations and project development at Moto Goldmines Ltd. At Moto Goldmine, he managed the pre-feasibility, bankable and definitive feasibility study for the more than 22 million ounce Democratic Republic of Congo-based Moto Gold Project (now Kibali Gold). Whilst at Moto Goldmines, he also managed the in-country environment, community studies and pre-construction activities. Before joining Moto Goldmines, he held senior operational and management positions with Gold Fields Ltd. and WMC Resources Ltd. At these companies, Schmiede was responsible for underground and open-pit operations as well as project development and planning.
Schmiede holds a First Class Mine Managers Certificate in Western Australia and a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining degree. He is also a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Lui Evangelista - Chief Financial Officer
Lui Evangelista is Sarama's Chief Financial Officer with 30 years of experience in accounting, finance and corporate governance with public companies. He has more than 18 years of experience in the mining industry –– nine years of which has been at the operational and corporate level with companies operating in Francophone Africa.
Lui held the positions of group financial controller and acting CFO at Anvil Mining Ltd. which operated 3 mines in the DRC. He was an integral part of the senior management team that saw Anvil's market capitalization grow from C$100 million in 2005 to C$1.3 billion upon takeover by Minmetals in 2012.
Lui holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting degree, a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance.
Guy Scherrer - Exploration Manager
Guy Scherrer is the exploration manager for Sarama Resources Ltd. in Mali and Burkina Faso. Scherrer has over 10 years of experience working as an exploration geologist in Canada, DRC, the Republic of Congo, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Mali. Scherrer has worked on several advanced exploration projects including the more than 22 million ounce Moto gold project (Moto Goldmines) and the Kalana gold project (Avnel). He has also worked on the start-up of several mineral exploration projects in Africa including Lindian Resources in Guinea and Elemental Minerals in the Republic of Congo.
Scherrer has a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Laval University in Quebec and a Masters's degree in Earth Sciences from the National Institute for Scientific Research in Quebec.
Simon Jackson - Non-Executive Chairman
Simon Jackson is a founder, shareholder and non-executive chairman of Sarama Resources Ltd.
Simon is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of experience in the mining sector. He is the Chairman of Predictive Discovery and non-executive director of African gold producer Resolute Mining. He has previously held senior management positions at Red Back Mining Inc., Orca Gold Inc. and Beadell Resources Ltd.
Jackson specializes in M&A, public equity markets management and corporate finance. His career has included corporate transactions in Canada, Australia, Africa and Indonesia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Adrian Byass - Non-Executive Director
Adrian Byass has more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry. He has focused his career on the economic development of mineral resources. He is skilled in economic and resource geology. Byass has experience ranging from production in gold and nickel mines to the evaluation and development of mining projects with listed and unlisted entities in several countries. He has also held several executive and non-executive board roles on both ASX and AIM listed companies.
Byass presently operates in a corporate and market-focused capacity on a national and international basis. He has board-level experience in mine development, capital raising and M&A in Australia and on overseas stock exchanges. Byass has played key roles in a range of exploration and mining projects in Australia, Africa, North America and Europe. These projects were based on a suite of commodities including gold, base and specialty metals.
Byass holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a Bachelor of Economics. Byass is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geology and a Competent Person for the reporting of mineral resources (JORC 2012).
Byass is currently on the board of multiple ASX-listed companies, including Galena Mining Ltd., Kaiser Reef Ltd., Kingwest Resources Ltd. and Infinity Lithium Ltd.
Steve Zaninovich - Non-Executive Director
Steve Zaninovich has spent over 25 years in project development, maintenance and operational readiness in the mining industry. Zaninovich has held several executive and non-executive board roles with public and private companies.
Zaninovich has extensive experience in the development of multiple mining operations across various commodities and jurisdictions in West Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana. He served as COO at Gryphon Minerals before their takeover by Teranga Gold Corporation. Zaninovich was the vice president of major projects at Teranga Gold Corporation. While at Teranga Gold Corporation, he completed the bankable feasibility study on the Wahgnion Gold Project which is now a mine in Burkina Faso.
Zaninovich is currently a non-executive director of Maximus Resources Ltd. and Mako Gold. He was previously an executive director at Lycopodium Minerals and held non-executive director roles at Centaurus Metals, Gryphon Minerals and Orway Minerals Consultants.
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