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Stratex reports encouraging gold sampling results at Megenta, doubles land portfolio in Ethiopia

Stratex International (AIM: STI) has doubled its Ethiopian portfolio to 3,142 sq km (square kilometres) while reporting encouraging geochemistry results from its Megenta gold discovery in the Afar region of the country, with chip sampling returning grades of up to 3 g/t (grammes per tonne) gold.

Shares in the company jumped 7.4% on the news.

The new exclusive exploration licenses (EELs) spanning over 1,562 sq km are located in the Afar region and in the Tigray area in northern Ethiopia, east of Stratex’ Shehagne gold project. The current EEL in the Afar epithermal district was extended by 666 sq km to take the total land package in the region to 2,245 sq km. The Tigray EEL covers 897 sq km of what the company said was “favorable ground.”

Stratex has commenced geological mapping and rock sampling over the Tigray concession with regional minus 200 mesh stream sediment sampling planned for Q2/Q3 2010. The company said that recent results from its Shehagne project and the interest shown by other companies including Sunridge Resources and Antofagasta Minerals in Eritrea highlighted the potential of the large tract of ground for early discovery.

Meanwhile, the samples from Megenta returned a high of 3g/t Au at only 20 metres below the paleosurface from a zone of chalcedonic silica veins; other results included values of 0.667 g/t gold and 0.525 g/t gold, which Stratex called “highly encouraging values for this high level of the system,” saying they indicated potential for a high grade system at depth.

“Having received encouraging geochemistry results from our Ethiopian gold discovery, Megenta, in the Afar region, we are delighted to further consolidate our ground position and utilise our early-mover advantage, in what we believe is an emerging gold region,” said executive chairman of Stratex David Hall.

The Megenta hot spring gold prospect will now be the focus of a six week detailed mapping and sampling programme aimed at defining drill targets for Q3 2010.

Stratex has increased its portfolio of gold assets in Turkey and Ethiopia to 1.17 Moz (million ounces) across all categories of JORC standard during 2009.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company