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African Queen Mines Says Core Drilling Starts At Odundu In Kenya

African Queen Mines (CVE:AQ) said Monday that Alkili Minerals Services has initiated the company's 2,000 metre core drilling program at the Odundu property in southwest Kenya's Rongo Gold Fields.

The company, which said that core drilling of the first hole is now underway, previously completed a program of regional exploration including mapping, sampling trenching and ground and airbourne geophysics.

The Odundu property covers an area of approximately 97 square kilometres in the Kanango gold mining area of the Migori District of Nyanza Province near Lake Victoria.

The project is situated some 380 kilometres by road from the capital city of Nairobi and 60 kilometres north of the border with Tanzania, forming part of the rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt that hosts gold deposits including African Barrick Gold's Bulyanhulu and North Mara Mines and AngloGold Ashanti's Geita Mine.

In February and March of this year, seven trenches totaling 520 metres and covering a northwest-southeast strike of approximately 580 metres were excavated perpendicular to the main shear zone.

Broad zones of mineralized material were recorded in all seven trenches, as wide as 40 metres. Gold assay results obtained from samples from the main artisanal pit located between trenches A1 and B1 ranged between 2.12 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 35.0 g/t. Intermediate values recorded within this range were 2.43 g/t, 3.0 g/t, 8.33 g/t, and 9.70 g/t gold, the company said.

Channel sampling and logging of the trenches are now complete and assay results are pending, African Queen added.

Initially, six core drill holes totaling approximately 1300 metres have been positioned to test the gold mineralization within an anomalous area of the northwest-southeast trending shear zone traversing the property.

This shear zone was initially discovered through the company's preliminary field reconnaissance work and later delineated through airborne and ground geophysics programs.

The remainder of the drilling program, provisionally set at 2,000 metres with plans to expand based on results, will test the extensions of the shear zone and other prospective targets within the property.

Gold mineralization on the property appears to be associated with rich sulfide mineralization that is now being explored over a strike of approximately 1.5 kilometres, the company said.

"We are delighted that drilling is now underway at Odundu in Kenya's Rongo Gold Fields. Odundu is an exciting target that marks the beginning of our ambitious long-term exploration plans for Kenya," said CEO Irwin Olian.

Holes OD1 and OD2, the first two holes of the core drilling program, are planned to achieve depths of 260 and 230 metres, respectively.

Holes OD3 and OD4 will be drilled at a distance of 120 metres towards the southeast and are planned to achieve depths of 260 and 190 metres, respectively. Holes OD5 and OD6 will be drilled towards the southeast of the main artisanal workings to depths of 240 and 150 metres, respectively.

The company said that the exploration program at Odundu will be refined as results from both the trench sampling and drilling become available.

Ultimately, a conceptual geological model to explain the gold mineralization on the property will be incorporated into future exploration phases.

Under a joint venture agreement with Kenyan-based Abba Mining Company, African Queen can earn up to an 85 percent interest in the project by funding prescribed optional stages from exploration through feasibility.

The company is also the manager and operator of the property.

Vancouver-based African Queen is exploring its properties in Mozambique, Ghana and Kenya for gold and other metals and it is undertaking exploration in Botswana and Namibia for diamonds, gold and other metals.

Its operations in Kenya are being carried out through its operating subsidiary AQ Kenya Gold Limited.

Last month, the company said it closed the second tranche of a private placement financing, raising a total of $2.41 million in proceeds. Funds will be used for the drill program at Odundu, as well as the current drill program at its Noyem-Nyanfoman project on Ghana's Ashanti Belt, and for potential property acquisitions and working capital.