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Kefi Minerals and Centerra Gold report wide intervals of mineralisation at Artvin joint venture

KEFI Minerals (AIM: KEFI) has revealed the assay results from recently completed diamond drilling at the Artvin Project on the Eastern Pontide Belt in north-eastern Turkey. The four diamond drill holes, totalling 1,125m, intersected wide intervals of mineralisation, and anomalous assays including 1.95m at 0.64 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 25.2g/t silver from 137m. The exploration holes also contained copper and zinc.

The Artvin joint venture is under-option with Centerra Gold Inc (TSX: CG), who can earn up to 70% of the project through US$6m in expenditures at Artvin. KEFI Minerals is the manager of the joint venture.

“It is important that we continue to develop that understanding and we are now evaluating the results of this drilling programme, in conjunction with Centerra, to plan the next phase of work to be carried out on the Artvin Project”, KEFI Minerals MD Jeff Rayner said.

The objective of the 2009 drilling programme was to further test the Yanikli Prospect, follow the initial exploration phase in the previous year. "Results from the initial diamond drilling programme at Yanikli in 2008 were encouraging. The results from the second-phase diamond drilling programme in 2009, whilst of a lower grade, indicate that our understanding of the nature of, and controls on, the alteration and mineralisation is increasing”.

In addition to the gold assays, Hole AYDD007 returned 1.3m at 2.26% Copper from 301.8m and 1.6m at 1.61% Zinc from 213m. Hole AYDD008 returned the widest zone of anomalous zinc mineralisation, with 67m at 0.25% Zinc, including 2m at 1.12% Zinc.

According to KEFI, the style of alteration and mineralisation suggests that the property has potential for volcanogenic massive sulphide copper-zinc deposits and porphyry-style copper-gold deposits.

KEFI also has another Turkish joint venture with Centerra. The company is operating Bakir Tepe in southwest Turkey, where Centerra has the right to earn a 51% interest upon contributing US$750,000 to the JV over two years with a minimum expenditure of US$350,000 in the first year. In January, KEFI Minerals said it has started a drilling programme at the Bakir Tepe with the aim of testing a large geophysical anomaly that is interpreted to potentially be related to a Cyprus-style copper-gold volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (VHMS) deposit.

Last month, KEFI also completed its latest round of fundraising; it successfully placed 9.3m ordinary shares at 1.6 pence each to raise £150,000 before expenses. KEFI said the placing concluded its current financing efforts, leaving the company in a solid financial position.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company