Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) has kicked off gold exploration activities for the 2012-13 field season in West Africa, with a five hole diamond drilling program at the K4/K5 Prospect on the Reo Gold Project in Burkina Faso already completed.
Importantly, Middle Island begins the 2012-13 field season with $10.6 million in cash and no debt.
The program is designed to resolve the geometry and morphology of the multiple gold mineralised zones defined at the K4/K5 prospect, as well as provide material for preliminary metallurgical testing.
The plan is for Middle Island to undertake a more extensive rotary air blast and reverse circulation in the December and March quarters.
Diamond core recovered to date comprises broad zones of pervasively altered, veined and brecciated metasediments, metavolcanics and felsic intrusive rocks that predominantly strike northeast and dip at moderate angles to the southeast.
Meanwhile, infill augur drilling at the Kimba Prospect, within the Sirba Gold Project in Niger, has also begun.
The program is designed to refine the Kimba anomaly prior to more cost-effective rotary air blast drill testing later in the 2012-13 field season.
Mapping of the new Tialkam South gold prospect at the Sirba Project began early last week to assist in the design of planned diamond and reverse circulation drilling in the March 2013 quarter.
Tialkam South has been identified as considerable resource opportunity with better intercepts of 8 metres at 4.57 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 52 metres, 18 metres at 4.89g/t gold ending in mineralisation, 18 metres at 3.01g/t gold from 19 metres, and 18 metres at 2.41g/t gold ending in mineralisation.
Rick Yeates, managing director, told Proactive Investors last month Middle Island will be able to test the revised interpretation for Tialkam South relatively quickly, and that the prospect appears to have the dimensions and grade to represent a potential stand-alone resource target.
Sample preparation facility
Middle Island's new containerised sample preparation laboratory has recently arrived in Ouagadougou and will be installed and commissioned next week.
To speed up the advance towards the delivery of a minimum 1.1 million ounce resource base in West Africa, Middle Island has purchased its own dedicated, containerised, sample preparation laboratory from South Africa, which will remove dependence on over-committed West African laboratories.
The facility will be initially located in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to process samples generated from the company's Reo Project in Burkina Faso, and the Nassilé and Dogona projects in neighbouring Niger.
Bureau Veritas, the world's largest inspection and analytical company, has been appointed to manage the sample preparation facility.
Excess capacity in the sample preparation facility will be offered to peer-group companies to defray operating costs.
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