VANCOUVER — Avant-garde explorer Orca Gold has launched into a feasibility study at its 2.3 million oz. gold Block 14 project in northern Sudan’s Nubian Desert, after finding a water source that could support a larger open-pit operation than the company envisaged.
A water discovery 80 km southwest of Orca Gold’s Galat Sufar South gold deposit, part of the Block 14 project in Sudan. Credit: Orca Gold.
Orca intends to raise $15 million to fund the study along with 30,000 metres of drilling to expand the project’s Galat Sufar South and Wadi Doum gold deposits. Orca would issue 37.5 million shares at 40¢ per unit, with each unit consisting of a share and half a warrant that can be exercised in the first year at 55¢ per warrant.
Sudan is in the midst of a gold rush, with some 1.5 million artisanal miners by some counts producing over 93 tonnes gold (3 million oz.) last year, which would suddenly place Sudan as Africa’s third-largest gold producer behind South Africa and Ghana.
“The amount of gold they’re producing is pretty impressive, considering there are no modern gold mines in the country,” Orca president Hugh Stuart tells The Northern Miner during a phone interview. “The amount and extent of artisanal mining really shows you the nature of the gold endowment.”
Orca’s story begins in 2012, when Lukas Lundin and Richard Clark, former CEO of Lundin’s Red Back Mining, ventured into northern Sudan, eager to explore its prolific greenstone belts. The pair had both been involved in Red Back’s US$7.1-billion takeover by Kinross Gold two years before, and saw an opportunity to duplicate the success in Africa’s northeast.
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