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African Queen Mines Starts Field Program At Ugunja Project, With Core Drilling To Start Later This Year

African Queen Mines (CVE:AQ) says it has started its 2013 field program at the Ugunja gold project in Kenya's Lakeland district, with a technical team now on site.

The field work underway is a continuation of the phase 1b exploration program started last year, and includes regional mapping, soil and rock sampling, trenching and ground geophysics, the company told investors Monday.

"We are excited to be back on the ground at Ugunja now to follow up on the positive results of our 2012 field exploration program," African Queen said in its statement, citing CEO Irwin Olian.

"Kenya remains relatively tranquil at this time following the recent national election and there are presently no impediments to moving forward with our continuing exploration program at Ugunja."

The chief further said the company plans to accelerate activities at Ugunja to find the optimal drill targets in order to start a core drilling program later this year.

Field work at the site last year revealed anomalous gold, including a visible gold-bearing quartz vein at the Rariada target, which returned reported values of 30.018 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 4.8 g/t silver over a true width of 80 cm.

The company said that preliminary results from a satellite image interpretation show that the Rariada structure, as well as other targets at Ugunja, occur in zones of intersection of at least two regional shear zones.

"These intersections create a favorable environment for the deposition of gold with the potential to host commercial deposits," it added in the release.

The Ugunja project spans roughly 370 square km in the Busia, Siaya and Kakamega areas, located north of the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. It is situated 100 km to the northwest of the company's Odundu project in the Rongo Gold Fields, where core drilling was carried out in 2012.

Late last year, African Barrick Gold, Barrick Gold's (TSE:ABX) African subsidiary, announced that it bought a stake in ground next to the company's Ugunja project from Aviva Corporation.

African Queen can earn up to an 85 percent interest in the Ugunga project under the terms of a joint venture agreement with Kenya Discovery Limited.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.