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Nyota Minerals Ltd (NYO)

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Monday 30 April, 2012

Nyota Minerals Ltd

Quarterly Report 31 March 2012

RNS Number : 3119C
Nyota Minerals Limited
30 April 2012


Nyota Minerals Limited ('Nyota' or the 'Company')

Quarterly Report to 31 March 2012

Nyota Minerals Limited (ASX/AIM: NYO), the gold exploration and development company in East Africa, is pleased to announce its Quarterly Report for the period ended 31 March 2012.


Tulu Kapi Project, Ethiopia

·     A new Mineral Resource estimate was announced for Tulu Kapi of 17.97 million tonnes @ 2.90g/t gold containing 1,672,000 ounces of gold;

Comprises an upgrade and increase in the Indicated category of 82 per cent to 831,000 ounces of gold @ 3.01g/t gold; and

An Inferred Resource of 841,000 ounces of gold @ 2.79g/t gold;

·     A detailed drill programme at Tulu Kapi aimed at converting additional Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources will commence during Q2, 2012. The impact of this work to further increase resources will be seen in a resource update during H2 2012;

·     The Company's operational focus has been to complete the studies required for the Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") including drilling for hydrogeological, geotechnical and metallurgical reasons, metallurgical sampling for variability test work, the evaluation of sources of aggregate and the environmental and social studies;

·     The DFS is progressing well and is on schedule for completion in the second half of 2012;

Proximal and Satellite zones

·     Comprehensive gold in soil geochemical coverage has been completed over the most prospective areas within the Proximal and Satellite zones around Tulu Kapi. The major discovery is the Komto - Guji trend, a gossanous body extending over a strike length of approximately 2.8km to the west of the Tulu Kapi deposit;

·     Due to the requirement for drilling to focus on DFS related work, focus has been on analysis and evaluation work on the Proximal and Satellite zones, although within the capacity restraints Nyota has still been able to undertake a level of drilling on the Guji Prospect;

Regional exploration

·     Drilling commenced on the Bendokoro Prospect; the initial programme was completed after the period end and all assay results are pending;

Visible gold identified in drill core consistent with surface rock samples of up to 8.81g/t;

·     Additional geological mapping and interpretation at Boka Sirba has been completed following the identification of gold in the quartzite meta-sediments. Drilling has been deferred whilst a new geological interpretation is evaluated.  Further sampling and possibly trenching is planned along the strike length of the unit before a drilling campaign is initiated;


·     Cash on Balance Sheet at end of Quarter: A$22.5m;

·     This represents an increase of A$8.2m from the end of the prior quarter and includes the proceeds of the placing approved at General Meeting on 7 March 2012 of GBP9.66m; and

·     Neil Maclachlan was appointed as Non-executive Chairman on 21 March 2012.  Neil has extensive experience in both the City and the mining industry and has been appointed to further develop the Company as Nyota moves from being an exploration company to a development and production company.

Richard Chase, Chief Executive Officer commented, "The last quarter has been exceptionally busy for Nyota and my thanks go to all our employees and our consultants who have worked hard to keep both the feasibility study and the exploration on track.

Tulu Kapi remains the greatest call on our resources and our cash, but the initial signs from the Bendokoro drilling are even more encouraging than I had previously thought and the identification of an additional gold-bearing lithology at Boka Sirba is a significant discovery; even if it frustrates our desire to get started with drilling there.

The evidence before me leads me to believe that 2012 will be transformational for Nyota."


Diagrams to accompany the following narrative, as referenced below (Figures 1 and 2), are included in the version of the Quarterly Report for the period ended 31 March 2012, uploaded to the Company's website:



Updated Mineral Resource Estimate

On 9 March 2012, Nyota announced an updated Mineral Resource for Tulu Kapi, prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC Code (2004) and estimated independently by Wardell Armstrong International.


The new Mineral Resource benefits from significantly more geological detail than that previously available and incorporates all the drill holes for which gold analyses had been received up to and including the beginning of March,  2012 (Figure 1).  This Mineral Resource estimation will be used as the basis of the Ore Reserve estimation, at the end of June, to be included in the Feasibility Study.


The new Mineral Resource estimate was increased to 17.97 million tonnes @ 2.90g/t gold containing 1,672,000 ounces gold: comprising an upgrade and increase in the Indicated category of 82% to 831,000 ounces of gold @ 3.01g/t gold and an Inferred Resource of 841,000 ounces of gold @ 2.79g/t gold.  This resource includes all the drill holes for which assay results had been received by the end of January 2012 and is summarised in the table below.



Tulu Kapi Resource Estimate - In-Situ Model (WAI, March 2012 compared with WAI, June 2011)

(Prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC Code (2004)

June 2011

March 2012


Mineralisation Type







Cut Off Grade (g/t)



0.4 / 0.5



0.4 / 0.5


Tonnage (kt)








Au (g/t)


























Tonnage (kt)








Au (g/t)


























Note:       Nyota holds an interest of 100% in the Tulu Kapi asset.  The Ethiopian Government will be entitled to a 5% interest in the project on grant of a mining licence.

The March 2012 Resource Estimate update saw a significant increase in the Indicated Resource resulting from a greater degree of confidence in the continuity of mineralisation.  The balance of the Resource currently classified as Inferred has been broadly defined by drilling and therefore scope exists for the conversion of the bulk of these ounces to an Indicated status over the next few months.  It should be noted that where the orebody extends to its natural limits, it is not always possible to define the termination of individual mineralised structures and as a result a proportion of the Resource will always remain in the Inferred category. The objective over the next 6 months is to convert sufficient Resources to an Indicated status to be able to commence mine development with an Ore Reserve estimate of >1m oz Au contained.

Wardell Armstrong International and the Nyota geological team are working on a detailed drill programme for further infill reverse circulation ("RC") drilling designed to convert these Inferred Resources to an Indicated status in the shortest possible timeframe. This programme is scheduled to commence in Q2 and due to the superior infrastructure of the Tulu Kapi project area, drilling will continue throughout the rainy season which spans May to October.

Further Exploration

It is important to note that the Tulu Kapi deposit remains open to the north, northeast, southwest and at depth. Consequently, drilling to define the limits of the deposit and add further ounces to the Resource is on-going.

The likely short-term addition to the Resource will be from the north and northeast extensions, where sufficient drilling has already taken place to confidently outline targets ready for infill. One example is the UNDP target where an additional two shallow zones of mineralisation have been identified and the last of seven drill holes targeting these are being drilled.

Only once drilling and interpretation is complete will it be possible to state whether these resources will be incorporated into the existing proposed pit outline or whether they will form smaller scale satellite pits adjacent to the main Tulu Kapi pit.    

Drilling to extend the high-grade feeder style mineralisation at depth, which requires holes to be drilled to an average depth of 650m and  takes approximately 20 working days to complete, will be deferred while potential near-surface gold ounces remain to be drilled out.

An exploration update was announced on 20 January 2012. Please refer to that announcement for individual drillhole results and their context.

Both a new geological model and a new ore genesis model have been produced for Tulu Kapi and neighbouring targets. The models are the result of interpretation of a substantial database accumulated over the past two years by Nyota, the generation of general theories regarding the emplacement of mineralisation into the Tulu Kapi syenite and latterly the review of these in-house theories by experienced external geological consultants with particular expertise in the interpretation of geological settings. The pinning down of the ore genesis model in particular has had a significant bearing on the development of Proximal and Satellite Targets around Tulu Kapi. If the validity of the models can be proven from follow-up activities over the next few months, the expectation is that subsequent exploration can be more focussed and the overall exploration risk profile reduced. 

Mining Licence Application

On 18 January 2012 Nyota was made aware that the Ministry of Mines required an Ore Reserve estimated according to an internationally acceptable standard (eg: JORC) as a pre-condition of issuing a Mining Licence.  This cleared-up an ambiguity in the Regulations that pre-date the 2010 Mining Operations Proclamation (the "Mining Act"). 

In order for Nyota to meet this new requirement it is necessary for the on-going studies for the DFS to be ostensibly complete such that the JORC requirement for "Modifying Factors" to be taken in to account can be satisfied. The working target agreed with the Government for this is 30 June 2012.

Definitive Feasibility Study

The DFS is progressing well and is on schedule for completion in the second half of 2012.

Work during the period included:

·     Completion of the process plant design and layout and the advancement of instrumentation, electrical and civil engineering design work.

Requests for quotations have now been submitted to contractors.

·     Surveys for the roads and other infrastructure and an airborne LIDAR topographic survey over a 56km2area of influence.

·     Additional metallurgical samples for variability test-work across the ore body using the designed process flow sheet.

·     Geotechnical studies and design work for the open pit, tailings storage facility, water dams and process plant.

21 drill holes were completed using a variety of techniques appropriate specifically to geotechnical studies and 69 test pits were dug;

Laboratory test work on the samples is on-going.

·     Hydrogeological investigations. These consumed considerable time and resources. Work included drilling and logging 12 holes in the proposed mine area and 8 holes in the proposed fresh water storage dam area. A lack of suitable equipment in-country caused delays and has led to the postponement of pump-testing until equipment is imported and is on-site. 

·     Baseline environmental and social studies are largely complete. Implementation of the project requires population resettlement and work is in progress to locate suitable host resettlement lands. Resettlement in Ethiopia requires a collaborative effort led by the Government and a good relationship has been developed with all levels of government. The assessment of the positive and negative impacts on both affected and host communities and the measures to maintain livelihoods will commence once this step is complete.


With the emphasis on DFS work and more specifically drilling related to hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations drill rig capacity for further exploration has been limited.


Exploration work during the quarter focussed on completing a detailed geological map showing a more thorough coverage of the area within a 15km radius of Tulu Kapi based on close-spaced soil geochemical surveys. These surveys have better defined known targets and resulted in the discovery of new targets warranting further follow up. These new targets generally represent extensions to previously known anomalies or the joining up of two separate anomalies into one larger target.  A case in point is the Komto-Guji Trend Target.  Here, mapping, in conjunction with the soil sample programme, has delineated a mineralized ferruginous schist and limonitic quartz breccia, within a meta-sedimentary/meta-volcanic unit. The gossan bodies are lenticular, typically 100m wide and several hundred meters long and discontinuous over an estimated 2.8km strike length. The exploration team responsible for follow up currently envisage the Komto-Guji Trend as a possible future bulk mineable deposit.  Access to the Komto-Guji Trend is good and it is envisaged that drill access roads be constructed during the dry season to allow for a more extensive drill programme during the wet season (Figure 2).


The December exploration program called for detailed mapping of the prospective Guji Shear Zone, along which the Komto target was selected based on historical exploration results. 

Follow-up mapping of Komto shows a brecciated pyritized meta-sediment capped by ferruginous gossan with a strike extend of 2km and coincidental with geophysical (IP/Resistivity) anomalies. A programme of trenching and a string of RC holes is planned to straddle the soil / rock chip / geophysical anomaly.


For resource delineation in the proximal exploration areas the emphasis is initially on those targets that can generate high-grade easily accessible feed to be processed through the Tulu Kapi plant, further improving project economics. The Guji Prospect was therefore identified as a priority because previous drilling had delineated anomalous gold contents in the saprolite from surface and because it is located 6km by existing road from Tulu Kapi.

During the period a second phase of  41 RC drill holes was completed, with four holes remaining to be drilled. Results to date from the first phase have been encouraging, with intersections including 6.21g/t over 1m, 0.82g/t over 20m, 1.26g/t over 6m.



The exploration emphasis has been on maximising coverage of the balance of the Northern Block licence area to generate future drill targets and to allow for development of all-weather road access for drill rigs ahead of the next wet season. The area to be covered is substantial and includes 30 of the targets generated from airborne geophysical data.

The exploration team is currently running a regional panning programme to collect bulk soil samples to produce heavy mineral concentrates that will show the presence of gold and focus subsequent grid soil geochemical sampling and geological mapping.

Bendokoro (Brantham License area)

During the period fieldwork focused on the Bendokoro target. Prior to drilling an IP / Resistivity geophysical ground survey was conducted, with positive findings, and 17 trenches completed across the strike of both eastern and western targets, demonstrating strike continuity further northwards. Highlights included Trench 1: 0.58g/t over 5m; Trench 8: 1.7g/t over 7m; Trench 14: 0.57g/t over 12m and Trench 16: 1.54g/t over 5m.

An initial programme of 11 diamond core drill holes commenced at the start of February.

As of 31 March 9 holes for a total of 1,657 metres had been drilled and the programme is expected to be completed by the early May. 3 holes have so far been logged, split, sampled, prepared for assay and received by the laboratories in South Africa. The turnaround time for analysis is currently in the region of 3 - 4 weeks from receipt.

Drilling has been slowed by the breakdown of the drill rig and contamination of fuel supplied to the site in drums.   Steps have been taken to ensure this issue does not recur.

Work to date has confirmed that mineralisation is contained in an inter-bedded suite of greenstone volcano-sedimentary rocks 10-30 metres wide, showing pervasive pyrite and secondary chalcopyrite mineralisation. This corresponds with the gossanous outcrop mapped at surface and containing up to 10.6 g/t in grab samples. In addition, visible gold was intersected by borehole 3, associated with pyrite and chalcopyrite within an altered dyke. The rocks are structurally complex with tight, recumbent, isoclinal folds that plunge gently to the north-west and it is interpreted from the geophysical survey as well as from structural interpretation that the eastern and western anomalies represent a structural duplication of the above suite of rocks.

Initial assay returns and geological interpretation will be required before further drilling can be planned.

Boka Sirba (Towchester License area)

Detailed reconciliation of geophysical survey data, geological mapping and anomalous samples has proven that the quartzite meta-sediments in the more distal epidote environment contain gold. This contradicts the initial model in which gold was thought to be restricted to the Boka Sirba marble unit of the endo-skarn.

Further work is therefore required before the intended initial drilling can commence; this is ongoing.  In addition, soil sampling and mapping continues to target extensions to the mineralised assemblage of rocks which totals more than 15km of strike length.


Corporate Governance

The Directors of Nyota announced at the company's Annual General Meeting that it would review the composition of the Board with the intention of appointing appropriate independent nonexecutive directors to provide guidance on the development of Nyota's assets and for their independent input to the Board's key committees, such as Audit and Remuneration.

On 21 March 2012, Neil Maclachlan was appointed as Non-executive Chairman and Melissa Sturgess retired from the Board, with Nyota retaining her expertise and knowledge on a consultancy basis for the next yearMr Maclachlan has extensive experience in both the City and the mining industry.  With three decades of investment banking experience, Mr Maclachlan has held senior positions, including with HSBC Investment Banking at Wardley Australia and James Capel & Co Ltd.  His banking experience spans Asia, Australia, and Europe.  Additionally, Mr Maclachlan was the Executive Vice President, Asia, for Barrick Gold Corporation and a director of Golden Prospect Plc. Most recently, he was a director of Extract Resources Ltd and Kalahari Minerals Plc ("Kalahari"), where he was part of the team that successfully negotiated and concluded the sale of Kalahari to Taurus Minerals, an indirect subsidiary of China Guandong Nuclear Power Corporation, in February 2012.  In addition to his role as Non-executive Chairman, Mr Maclachlan will join Nyota's remuneration and audit committees.


In line with the Company's stated intentions, it is expected that a further non-executive director will be appointed before the end of the second quarter.  



On 3 February 2012, the Company announced the conditional placing of 161,000,000 new ordinary shares, 146,720,000 ordinary shares at an issue price of GBP0.06 and 14,280,000 ordinary shares at an issue price of A$0.089, to raise approximately £9.66 million before expenses (the "Placing").  The Placing of these new shares was completed after obtaining shareholder approval at a general meeting held on 7 March 2012.


The Placing was undertaken to fund continued exploration drilling over the Northern Blocks, progress the Tulu Kapi project post completion of the DFS and for general working capital purposes.


The Placing was supported by new and existing shareholders including Centamin plc ("Centamin"). Centamin is an Arabian-Nubian Shield focused gold mining company whose flagship project is the Sukari Gold Mine, located in the eastern desert of Egypt. Following the Placing Centamin owns 90,000,000 Ordinary Shares, being 14.08% of the enlarged share capital of the Company.

Management Appointments

A new Chief Operating Officer has been appointed and took up his post in Addis Ababa on the 16 January 2012. Patrick Goodfellow will oversee the construction of the Tulu Kapi mine and has been appointed ahead of time to give him familiarity with the DFS and to build operational capacity and develop relationships in Ethiopia in order to reduce the risk of delays in construction.

Patrick is civil engineer and his considerable project construction and management experience in gold projects in Australia and latterly in gold and nickel in SE Asia and Australia. 

Also during the quarter, Anthony Rowland joined as Business Development Manager. Anthony is a qualified accountant and CFA charterholder and was a "Qualified Executive" for the AIM Market, or "NOMAD", for the past five years.

Health and Safety

Nyota recognizes that the health and safety of its personnel is fundamental to the success of its operations.  During the last quarter, with the considerable increase in activity at the Tulu Kapi project, several lost time injuries were recorded.  The Company is committed to learning from these incidents and adapting operational methods appropriately.  Nyota strives to continually improve the health and safety of its personnel.


For further information please visit: or enquire to:

Richard Chase (CEO)/ Anthony Rowland (Business Development)

Nyota Minerals Limited

+44 (0) 20 7400 5740



Richard Morrison / Jen Boorer

Ambrian Partners Limited

+44 (0)20 7634 4700



Guy Wilkes

Ocean Equities Limited

(+44) (0) 20 7786 4370



Rory Scott

Mirabaud Securities LLP

(+44) (0)20 7878 3360



Paul Youens / Jos Simson

Tavistock Communications

(+44) (0)20 7920 3150


Competent Persons

The Resource Estimate is the responsibility of Principal Geologist Che Osmond BSc MSc MCSM CGeol FGS EurGeol.  Che Osmond is a full‐time employee of Wardell Armstrong International, an independent Consultancy and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration, and to the type of activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the June 2009 Edition of the AIM Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Che Osmond consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears and confirms that this information is accurate and not false or misleading.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange