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Target generation and grassroots exploration in Mauritania

In 2010/11 SRK Exploration Services was commissioned by Alecto Energy plc to conduct its grassroots copper/gold exploration program in Southern Mauritania. From the outset, SRK’s involvement started with visits and meetings with the Mauritanian Ministry of Mines on Alecto’s behalf. This culminated in selecting three licences in the Mauritanian Mobile Belt, followed by reconnaissance visits to the licence locations in August 2010, during which we observed areas of copper oxide mineralisation at the surface. A rock chip sampling program returned anomalous copper values, generating a number of targets for follow-up exploration.

Following fund raising based on these results, SRK ES designed a multi-phase exploration program to generate exploration targets and make a decision on the merit of each licence. Work began with a soil sampling program over targets generated in the reconnaissance phase. SRK ES mobilised an experienced team to a remote location on the fringe of the Sahara to manage the significant logistical requirement, and conduct the sampling program and other activities, such as detailed geological mapping.

SRK ES used a mobile XRF analyser to test samples in the field, thereby allowing for rapid identification of any significant mineralisation and the immediate design of any required infill sampling. This process resulted in a cost saving to the client from reduced laboratory costs and increased efficiency of sampling. All samples generated with anomalous copper values and/or gold pathfinder elements were also submitted for laboratory testing to confirm their content.

We are now planning the next phase for these prospects by assisting Alecto in rapidly advancing their exploration assets towards a drilling stage. This phase involves ground geophysics and trenching of the targets previously identified; both will be managed by the SRK ES in-house geophysical and geological teams. SRK ES aims to help Alecto establish effective field teams and camps and manage the project’s development through office-based consulting services, as well as ground teams and geological supervision.

By contracting SRK ES to manage their exploration portfolio, Alecto was able to engage an experienced and integrated multi-disciplinary exploration team on the ground, developing targets in a time and cost effective manner, while giving potential investors confidence in the management of the program.

Niall Tomlinson
Gareth O’Donovan:

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