The exploration budget has been increased to $30 million for 2011. The lion’s share of this will be spent around our plants at Bogoso/Prestea and Wassa/HBB. We will be drilling new targets, upgrading resources into reserves and growing our reserve/resource base.
For 2011, drill targets have been identified and prioritized along the Bogoso/Prestea land package.
Buesichem and Buesichem South Resource—July 2010 Press Release
Golden Star Resources Ltd. announced a preliminary mineral resource estimate and pit optimization results from the new discovery at Buesichem (now called Buesichem South deposit) on July 21, 2010. Subsequently, drilling generated a total resource of over 700,000 ounces including a proven and probable reserve of 449,000.
Notes to Non Reserves—Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources:
The additional constrained resources have been added to an area along trend and south of the existing mining operations with a small proportion of the additional resources being located beneath existing open pits. Currently two multi-purpose drill rigs are infill drilling on 25 m spaced drill fences. A third drill rig will be redirected to the Buesichem South Zone to accelerate this Inferred Mineral Resource conversion so that we can fully assess the potential of this material for Mineral Reserve conversion and extend the Buesichem pit mine life.
The Buesichem deposit has been known since the 1930’s when high grade oxide material was mined from a small open pit over a 20-year period. Golden Star acquired the deposit in 2001 as part of the Prestea Mining Lease acquisition and Buesichem provided a source of oxide ore for the Bogoso oxide plant for nearly two years. Sulfide ore mining commenced at Buesichem in May 2006 and approximately 500,000 ounces of gold have been mined and processed from this single pit thus far. With the discovery of Buesichem South, this deposit could exceed one million ounces of production, becoming the largest single open pit reserve and resource at Bogoso/Prestea to date.
The Akropong Trend is a mineralized corridor trending sub-parallel to and west of the Ashanti Trend approximately 20 kilometers from Bogoso/Prestea. We have continued to evaluate our propertyholdings in this area, dropping tested non-prospective ground and picking up additional untested ground through joint ventures. The objective of this work was to identify additional mineral reserve opportunities in the immediate vicinity of Bogoso/Prestea that could, in the future, provide additional sources of processing plant feed for the Bogoso processing plants.
Our exploration geologists are mapping rock exposures that have been revealed through mining activities in order to determine controls to ore mineralization. The combination of this exploration mapping and detailed grade control drilling will be used to determine the potential for further gold mineralization along this trend and will be tested in 2008. Several gold anomalies have already been identified in the projected southern extension of the Pampe South Trend.
Drilling at the Pampe property established a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource at Pampe in 2005 and we commenced mining from this deposit in 2007.
The other Akropong Trend projects are still at an early stage of exploration and to date they do not have proven and probable mineral reserves. Dunkwa (90%)
In 2003, we acquired two prospecting licenses, Asikuma and Mansiso, collectively referred to as the Dunkwa properties. These properties are located on the Ashanti Trend directly north of and contiguous with the current Bogoso mining lease.
Exploration on the Dunkwa concessions dates back to the 1930's when at least five quartz vein occurrences were prospected but not developed. The mineralization is similar to that seen at Bogoso. The Mampon prospect located on the northern portion of the Dunkwa properties was discovered in 1988 using regional geochemical methods and was subsequently drilled by the previous operators.
The Mansiso and Asikuma Prospecting Licenses were flown by VTEM airborne geophysical system in 2007. In order to interpret this geophysical data, a regional geological mapping program was completed since limited data existed previously. The geophysical data has been and is being analyzed to determine prospective drill targets and their priority. We expect to follow up on the VTEM targets as well as the down dip extensions of the Mampon deposit.
WASSA EXPLORATION - GHANA (90% interest)
The exploration program at Wassa/HBB has continued since the acquisition of the HBB properties in late 2005. Prospective areas are being explored with geochemical sampling, auger drilling, RAB drilling and diamond drilling successively, as positive results are generated and anomalous areas outlined. The HBB corridor, through which the haul road runs, is underexplored.
WEST AFRICA REGIONAL
Sonfon Joint Venture - Sierra Leone (51%)
In late 2003 we entered into a joint venture agreement with Mano River Resources Inc., now Aureus Mining. Golden Star earned a 51% interest in the Sonfon Project. The Sonfon project is located in the Sula Greenstone Belt where numerous banded iron formation (bif) and shear-zone-hosted gold occurrences have been identified.
Exploration activities at the Sonfon joint venture have been suspended while a title issue is resolved.
Amélikia, Abengourou, and Agboville (100% interest)
These properties, which lie in east-central Côte d’Ivoire, lie within a broad zone of deformation along the northern margin of the Sefwi Belt. In Ghana, this contact hosts the > 10 million ounce Ahafo deposit. Between 2005 and 2007, we carried out a regional stream and laterite sampling exploration program that identified two coincidental stream and laterite gold anomalies on the Amélikia license. These two zones over an area approximately 4.5 km by 20km and 24km long, respectively. In addition, a smaller 4 km by 8 km coincident laterite and stream anomaly was also identified on the Abengourou license. Exploration activities in 2011 are focused on following up these anomalies with further soil sampling on a tighter grid pattern with the goal of identifying future drill targets.
The exploration activities in Côte d’Ivoire have focused on interpretation of the geochemical anomalies that were identified from the sampling program. RAB drilling will commence at the Amelikia and Abengourou properties to provide more in-depth knowledge to follow-up the sampling anomalies. The most prominent target is an anomaly that is approximately 5km in strike length and up to 1.5km in width. Similar exploration is on-going at the Agboville property.