Hawiah is located within the Wadi Bidah Mineral District (“WBMD”) in the southwest of the Arabian Shield.
GMCO commenced drilling at Hawiah in September 2019 and quickly confirmed that large-scale Volcanic Massive Sulphide ("VMS") style of mineralisation underlies the gossanous ridgeline. Three distinct copper-zinc-gold-silver massive sulphide lodes have been intercepted in drilling over more than 4 kilometres of strike length, with intercepts of up to 5% copper equivalent. KEFI released the key outcomes of the initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Hawiah Project in September 2020.
The Hawiah EL covers a predominantly bimodal mafic and felsic volcaniclastic succession in a broad anticline, with an unusually large expression of surface mineralisation outcropping on the eastern limb. Hawiah’s silicified and gossanous horizon was mapped and trenched by France’s Bureau De Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (“BRGM”) in the 1980s, which identified its gold-bearing potential.
The geological setting of Hawiah appears analogous to other large VMS deposits in the Arabian-Nubian Shield that have well-preserved, mature oxidised zones enriched in gold at surface.
Initial surface exploration confirmed that the main gossanous ridgeline is enriched in gold and the mineralisation has good continuity along strike, as well as containing abundant secondary copper showings. Field work undertaken prior to drilling included trenching, geological mapping, geophysical surveys and satellite imaging programmes.
Successful Hawiah Drilling Programmes
have led to the definition of the following three copper-zinc-gold-silver massive sulphide lodes that remain open at depth:
- Camp Lode: The deepest massive sulphide intersection at the Camp Lode is at a vertical depth of 590m where 4.4m true width of massive sulphide was intersected, this extends the total plunging strike length of mineralisation to 1.2km from the surface, with mineralisation remaining open. The average true width of the ‘Camp Lode’ is 7m with the widest intersection of 20m found at a depth of 90m;
- Crossroads Lode: 1.1km long, with an average width of 5m with the widest intersection being 10m true width; and
- Crossroads Extension Lode: 0.7km long at surface, with a total plunging strike length of mineralisation to 1.3km to surface. The average width of 4.2m with the widest intersection being 13m true width. This lode has been explored to a maximum vertical depth of 500m where 6.2m of massive sulphide was intersected at 2.9% zinc and 0.79g/t gold.
Long section showing extent of VMS mineralisation in the 2022 block model
Drilling spans over 5km of strike length at a drill spacing on the Camp and Crossroads Lodes at approximately 40-60m within areas reporting to Indicated classification and 120-140m for areas reporting to Inferred classification.
Hawiah Mineral Resource Estimate
In January 2023, KEFI announced an updated Hawiah Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) totalling 29.0 million tonnes at 0.89% copper, 0.94% zinc, 0.67g/t gold and 10.1g/t silver. The data from a total of 213 diamond drillholes, 114 reverse circulation drillholes and 57 trenches underpin this MRE.
The Indicated and Inferred Resources reporting to the Open-Pit Scenario total 11.1Mt at 0.90% copper 0.75% zinc, 0.81 g/t gold and 10.3 g/t silver. This increase reaffirms the potential for an initial open-pit mining operation and a lower start-up capital requirement.
Long section of Hawiah deposit displaying resource classification and the open pit locations
Further information regarding the Hawiah MRE is in the KEFI announcement “Hawiah Mineral Resource increased by 16% to 29 million tonnes” released 9 January 2023.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
KEFI released the key outcomes of the initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Hawiah Project in September 2020. The positive PEA included the following outcomes:
- confirms Hawiah is a high priority Project, with a significant maiden resource after only seven months of initial drilling;
- the maiden resource alone potentially supports a production rate of 2Mt p.a. for seven years for net operating cash flow of c.US$70 million p.a. at current metal prices. After initial and sustaining capital expenditure of c.US$222 million and c.US$46 million respectively, this would indicate an estimated net cash surplus of over US$200 million before financing costs and tax; and
- clear potential for expansion of resources with further drilling below the currently drilled depth of 350 metres of this structurally consistent tabular structure. A doubling of the resource with material of similar characteristics as the maiden resource would indicate an estimated net cash surplus of over US$500 million before financing costs and tax.
Plan showing Al-Godeyer and Hawiah gossans in relation to EL's
Exploration commenced at Al Godeyer EL's in 2022. Initial exploration of these Al Godeyer ELs has confirmed similar copper-gold mineralisation to the Hawiah VMS deposit.
Hawiah is located at northern end of the Wadi Bidah Mineral Belt (‘WBMB’), a 120km-long, north-south trending belt which hosts numerous prospects of three main types:
- VMS deposits;
- volcano-sedimentary deposits associated with disseminated to sub-massive sulphides; and
- shear zone & quartz vein hosted deposits.
VMS deposits are often major copper-lead-zinc-gold-silver orebodies and examples of large VMS deposits in the ANS include:
- Eritrea - Bisha (Nevsun/Zijin) and Asmara (Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development) deposits;
- Sudan - Hassaii (Ariab) deposits; and
- Saudi Arabia - Jabal Sayid (Barrick and Ma’aden) and Al Masane (Al Kobra Mining) deposits.