Auroch Minerals (ASX: AOU), formerly Terranova Minerals, has hit the ground running in 2013 having now completed the acquisition of the 3 million ounce Manica Gold Project in Mozambique and been reinstated to the ASX under its new name.
Importantly, the company is well-funded with A$5.4 million in cash following a successful $3 million capital raising as part of the re-compliance process for re-listing on the ASX.
Auroch acquired 100% of the Manica Project from Pan African Resources.
The company is now poised to explore and develop what is a substantial gold asset in a stable mining jurisdiction within a proven geological address - the Odzi-Mutare-Manica Classical Greenstone Belt (OMM belt).
The mining concession has been issued and a JORC Resource has been delineated.
Only 8% of the potential 27 kilometre of shear zones within the concession has been drilled to date leaving significant upside potential on the Northern Shear to establish a meaningful low cost resource recoverable by direct cyanidation.
Dean Cunningham, managing director, commented: "The Auroch team are delighted to complete the transaction and commence drilling on this under explored gold camp at a proven gold area on the OMM belt.
"The retention of an exceptionally high quality management team and their 25 years of combined experience on the Manica Project, with Pan African remaining as a key shareholder, is testament to the quality of the project and its potential for development into a high quality project.
"The company has a busy and targeted exploration program ahead of it and I look forward to updating the market regularly on our progress."
Ahead of the game
Auroch's now wholly owned subsidiary Explorator Limitada began exploration drilling on the Northern Shear significantly ahead of schedule in November 2012.
A total of 2,135 metres of diamond drilling across nine holes was completed by mid-December 2012.
All export and legal requirements have been completed with the Mozambique authorities in Manica so that samples can be sent to an accredited laboratory in Johannesburg.
Samples are currently being exported and the first results are expected within six weeks of arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Geological mapping of the Northern Shear in the area (Targets 2 and 3) between Guy Fawkes and Boa Esperança is currently in progress.
Initial observations from this mapping indicate that potentially mineralised talc-chlorite schists, quartz veins and breccia zones exist along strike to the east of the Duque deposit.
A geophysical contractor has been commissioned and it is anticipated that the planned airborne Time Domain Electro Magnetic survey over Targets 2 and 3 will begin during January.
All relevant permits have been issued, in particular those required from the Department of Defense in Mozambique.
Helicopter landing pads have been constructed and a refuelling facility provided. This will elucidate the structure and will assist in target identification.
Meanwhile, the existing geochemical mapping will be augmented with new data between Target 1 - which covers the Vinganca, Guy Fawkes and Duque prospects - and Target 3.
Site preparation is ongoing to support the exploration of the Northern Shear throughout 2013.
The current drilling campaign is a continuation of the December quarter 2012 drilling activities and recommenced on 7 January 2013.
This program will focus on low cost resources recoverable by direct cyanidation at Targets 1, 2 and 3 and will consist of both reverse circulation and diamond drilling.
Northern Shear oxide drill results from fourth quarter 2012 drilling are pending.
On completion of the acquisition of the Manica Gold Project from Pan African, Dean Cunningham, Jan Nelson and Glenn Whiddon were appointed to the Board.
Benjamin Bussell, Robert Jewson and Matthew Foy have stepped down from the Board.
Foy will remain as company secretary.
The acquisition of the Manica Gold Project hoists Auroch into a peer group that is priced significantly higher than the current valuation of the company.
The company has received strong support from investors in its endeavour to re-list on the ASX and as a result is now well-funded with $5.4 million in cash, which is more than adequate to cover 2013 exploration.
On top of this Auroch got an earlier start to exploration than initially planned, meaning the company is well placed in 2013 to grow the already large Resource base established at Manica.
At the current market cap. of $12.8 million and share price of $0.30, Auroch is undervalued on its resource base relative to peers.
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