East Africa-focused gold producer Shanta Gold has announced that is has found visible deposits at Isulu in Kakamega County, Kenya. According to the company, the West Kenya Project spans 1,162 km², representing the majority of the highly prospective and underexplored greenstone Archaean Busia-Kakamega Gold Belt in western Kenya. This is the northernmost greenstone belt in the prolific Lake Victoria Goldfield, which hosts worldclass gold deposits such as those at North Mara and Geita gold mines. The size of the belt is analogous to well-known prolific greenstone belts in Canada and Australia (including Val-d-Or district Abitibi, Canada and Kalgoorlie district WA, Australia).
Several gold prospects exist across the project area at various stages of exploration. At present, drilling is focused on the Islulu and Bushiangala deposits, with the aim of upgrading ounces from the project’s NI43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate into the Indicated Resource category. The gold mineralisation is hosted by sheared pillowed to massive basalts, bounded between ultramafic volcanics and polymictic conglomerates on one side and carbonaceous mudstones and sandstones on the other side.
The deposits occur within the Lirhanda Corridor area, a 12 km structural trend located on the eastern limb of a broad synclinal structure intruded in the centre by granitoids and dioritoids, termed the Kakamega Dome. The north-western limb of the Dome hosts the highly perspective and underexplored Rosterman target (located 8 km from the Isulu and Busiangala deposits), which was the largest colonial gold mine in Kenya, producing approximately 260 Koz @ 12.3 g/t Au in the pre independence period.
Mineralisation is associated with quartz, quartz-carbonate veinlets within the mineralised shear zones ranging from 0.5 m to 10 m in true width. Sulphide mineralisation is present in the form of pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, and molybdenite. The mineralisation style is classified as orogenic, shear-zone-hosted quartz-carbonate vein subtype. The strike lengths of the steeply-dipping zones vary between 350 m and 650m.
Phase 1 of the ongoing diamond drilling campaign at the project commenced in late December 2020 and is designed to infill two modelled zones at Isulu (IZ1.0 and IZ3.0) and three modelled zones at Bushiangala zones (BZ1, BZ2 and BZ3). This is being carried out with spacing of 40m at Isulu and 30 m at Bushiangala, up to a depth of 150-200 m from surface, and is targeting both oxides and sulphides within these zones.
Assay results have been received for the first seven diamond drill holes, which is covering only a limited portion of the tested mineralised zones (a strike length of 75m for Isulu and 35m for Bushiangala). It is estimated that the true widths of the mineralized zones are approximately 60 to 70% of the widths intersected in the drill holes.