Panthera Resources PLC (LON:PAT), the gold exploration and development company with key assets in West Africa and India, has announced its unaudited interim results for the half-year ended 30 September 2022.
· Total loss for the reporting period of $1,477,506 or $0.01 per share (2021: $1,943,501 loss or $0.02 per share) reflecting our ongoing commitment to our exploration activities during the period
· Completed the agreement with Diamond Fields Resources Inc (DFR) providing up to US$18 million in exploration and development funding for the Cascades Project.
· Moydow completed a 4975 metre RC drilling campaign at the Cascades Project which produced a significant discovery at the TT13 prospect.
· Completion of the geophysics, together with the current geological mapping exercise at Bido identified a zone of clustered vein targets.
· At Bassala, a 5931 metre AC drilling programme completed which defined five significant prospects – the most significant being Tabakorole, with a 2km strike length.
· Continued to pursue the grant of the Prospecting Licence over the Bhukia project through both commercial resolution and the legal proceedings ongoing in the High Court of Rajasthan (Court).
Mark Bolton, Managing Director of Panthera Resources, commented:
“Despite the challenging equity market conditions for gold juniors, the year to date has again been one marked by significant field activity on our extensive West African assets. This is in part supported by the completion of the Moydow restructuring and funding agreement with DFR.
At the Cascades Project, drilling by Moydow saw a significant discovery at the TT13 prospect. With 22 new untested drilling targets identified, the Company is confident that the existing mineral resource estimate will continue to grow with further drilling.
At Bido, an IP Geophysical Survey, geological mapping and outcrop rock sampling has identified a zone of clustered vein targets that are now ‘drill ready’.”
Events Post Balance Date
In October 2022, the Company completed an equity capital raising of £500,000.
Cascades (Burkina Faso)
The Cascades Project, formerly named Labola, is owned and managed by Moydow Holdings Ltd (Moydow). Following a restructuring completed and announced on 30 June 2022, Panthera currently holds an equity interest of 20% in Moydow with DFR agreeing to spend up to US$18 million (Earn-In) on Cascades in order to maintain its ownership interest of up to 80%.
The Cascades gold exploration project is in the Banfora greenstone belt of the West African Birimian Supergroup in southwest Burkina Faso. Cascades is approximately 450km west-southwest of the capital, Ouagadougou, and 100km northeast of the Wahgnion gold mine, operated by Endeavour Mining.
More than 65,500m of historical drilling (541 holes) has been completed across multiple drilling campaigns by previous owners with Moydow exploring the area since August 2020. Following a 2021 drilling program by Moydow, a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) was published in October 2021 as stated in Table 1:
Table 1 Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, October 2021
|Indicated Mineral Resource:
|5.41Mt @ 1.52g/t Au (264,000oz)
|Inferred Mineral Resource:
|6.93Mt @ 1.67g/t Au (371,000oz)
Between May 2022 and July 2022, a 4975 metre Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling programme was completed by Moydow. The programme incorporated infill resource definition and step-out drilling at the Daramandougou area and first-pass exploration drilling on two new previously untested targets in the newly acquired Wuo Land 2 concession (as announced by the Company on 11 March 2022), namely the TT-13 and the Big South targets. A breakdown of the drilling by area is given in Table 1.
Table 2 RC drilling programme, May-July 2022
The drilling at Daramandougou is not expected to add significant new resource ounces within the existing resource envelope, however, the data will help to strengthen the geological model and potentially assist in resource classification.
Two new targets in the newly acquired Wuo Land 2 licence area, TT-13 and Big South, were tested in a first-pass drilling programme.
The TT-13 structure has been mapped for a strike length of approximately 3,000 metres. It runs parallel and to the east of the Daramadougou/Wuo Ne structure. The sampling campaign during 1Q 2022 confirmed ore-grade mineralisation in several artisanal workings with grades up to 25.4 g/t Au. Three holes in particular intersected significant mineralisation in what appears to be a westerly dipping mineralisation envelope up to 20-35 metres wide with notable intersections listed below (“LW” is gold analysed by Leachwell method while “FA” is gold analysed by 50g fire assay):
· CS22-RC027 45-55m, firstname.lastname@example.org g/tLW (1.38 g/t FA)
· CS22-RC028 25-29m, email@example.com g/t LW (1.56 g/t FA)
· CS22-RC028 38-54m, firstname.lastname@example.org/t LW (1.2g/t FA)
· CS22-RC029 27-36m, 9m @1.08 g/t LW (0.93 g/t FA)
· CS22-RC029 56-66m, email@example.com/t LW (1.39g/t FA)
Drilling at the Big South target tested an extensive artisanal zone. Most of the drill holes in the northern half of the zone reported some low-grade mineralisation within an envelope consistent with the area of the artisanal workings. The extent and intensity of the artisanal workings here, supported by mapping and sampling, point to a potentially importanta and large mineralised zone. However, this phase of drilling did not confirm any ore grade zones at the Big South target. Follow-up geological mapping of the mineralised structure will be needed here before the next round of drilling is planned.
Bassala Project (Mali)
The Bassala project is located within the highly gold-endowed Birimian volcano-sedimentary belt in southwestern Mali, approximately 200km south of the capital city Bamako.
The belt hosts the Kalana (Endeavour Mining, 4Moz) and Kodieran (Wassoul’or, 2Moz) gold mines, both within a few kilometres of the Bassala project. The adjacent belt to the west is also well endowed with gold and hosts the Siguiri (AngloGold Ashanti (“AngloGold”), 17Moz), Tri-K (Avocet Mining, 3Moz), Kobada (African Gold Group, 3Moz), and Yanfolila (Hummingbird Resources, 2Moz) gold mines.
In June 2022 and July 2022, the Company completed a 5931 metre drilling programme to follow up results of earlier drilling across the Bassala North, Bassala Central and Bassala South Sectors, , with main findings being:
· Five significant prospects defined from initial and follow-up geochemical drilling campaigns
· The most significant prospect is the Tabakorole Prospect which has a 2km strike length within which drilling has identified wide zones of mineralisation
· The 2022 drill programme comprised 2,601m reverse circulation (RC) drilling in 23 drill holes and 3,030m air-core (AC) geochemical drilling completed in 50 drill holes
· Significant silica-chlorite-sulphide alteration and associated quartz veining were observed for most targeted intervals
· Drill assay results (based on 5m composite sampling) include:
5 metres at 5.60 g/t Au from 40m
5 metres at 4.68 g/t Au from 10m
5 metres at 3.73 g/t Au from 35m.
Bido (Burkina Faso)
The Bido permit in Burkina Faso is located on the Koudougou quadrangle some 125km WSW of the capital Ouagadougou. The tenement lies within the Boromo greenstone belt which also hosts the Poura gold deposit (1 to 2 Moz), situated about 50 km to the SSW of the area, as well as numerous gold occurrences.
During the half year, the Company completed an IP geophysical survey and expanded its geological mapping and outcrop rock sampling, the main points arising being:
· The geophysical survey has identified 28 strong IP anomalies;
· Most targets correlate with outcropping mineralised vein systems and or extensive artisanal workings;
· Survey covered the Beredo and the Somika areas with several other mineralised domains to be tested including the Kwademen prospect;
· Recent gold in rock sample results identified several outcropping mineralised vein systems coincident with the strong IP anomalies, , best results from grab sampling being:
– 42.2g/t Au
– 20.0g/t Au
– 13.6g/t Au
– 13.4g/t Au
– 10.9g/t Au
The completion of the geophysics, together with ongoing current geological mapping is the final step ahead of future drilling campaigns.
Bhukia Project (India)
During the period, the Company continued its efforts to secure an amicable outcome with the Government of Rajasthan (GoR). In parallel, the Company has continued to seek the enforcement of its rights through the High Court of Rajasthan.
The Company made its initial investment in Bhukia, through its 95% owned Australian subsidiary, Indo Gold Pty Limited (IGPL), in 2005. The Company’s rights to be granted a Prospecting Licence over Bhukia, through its joint venture partner, have been consistently frustrated over an extended period by the GoR. More recently, the Prospecting Licence Application over Bhukia was again rejected by the GoR in August 2018 on various spurious and legally untenable grounds. The Company subsequently obtained an interim Stay Order from the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court which remains in place subject to ongoing proceedings there.
In 2021, the Government of India (GoI) passed a new act (MMDR2021) to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 2015 (MMDR2015). Under Clause 13 of the MMDR2021, any pending Prespecting Licence Applications (PLA) have lapsed, therefore, potentially impacting the Company’s rights to the Bhukia and Taregaon projects. Furthermore, under Clause 13 of the MMDR2021, the holder of a reconnaissance permit or prospecting licence whose rights lapsed shall be reimbursed the expenditure incurred towards reconnaissance or prospecting operations in such manner as may be prescribed by the GoI. This expenditure on account of reimbursement may increase in case any foreign investor invokes Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements executed between India and other countries.
On 18 February 2021, the Company announced that it had appointed Fasken to advise the Company on a potential dispute with the Republic of India concerning the Bhukia Joint Venture Project (Bhukia). Specifically, Fasken is advising the Company on its potential dispute under the Australia-India Bilateral Investment Treaty of 26 February 1999 (AIBIT) concerning Bhukia, which includes past, present and any future acts and/or omissions by India and its state entities and actors. Fasken has advised that a potential claim under the AIBIT has legal merit. The Company continues to engage with several potential litigation funders to support a potential claim under the AIBIT.
Diamond Fields Transaction
In August 2021, Panthera announced that it has entered into agreements to restructure its ownership interests in Moydow and underlying assets (together the “Transaction”). Upon completion of the Transaction in June 2022, the Transaction resulted in:
· US$18 million farm-out agreement on Cascades Project with DFR;
· Spin-out of Kalaka and Nigeria projects from Moydow into a new entity (“Maniger”); and
· Panthera secures 50% interest and operatorship of Maniger
The Transaction with DFR provides significant finance to progress the Cascades Project to the next stage, primarily the bankable feasibility study. Panthera’s significant ongoing interest in Cascades of up to 30% ensures that the Company will benefit from any success, while not diluting shareholders’ exposure to the Company’s other assets including Bassala, Bido and India. The ‘spin out’ of the Kalaka and Nigeria projects into Maniger preserves our interest in Kalaka independent of Cascades.
In summary, the DFR transaction secures significant multi-year financing for Cascades, ameliorates the potential concentration of risk and maximises shareholder exposure to the growth opportunity from our wider asset portfolio.
Based on current expenditure levels, all funds will be used within the next 6 months. Panthera Resources’ ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon raising additional capital.