Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) has begun a 70,000m drilling campaign at its flagship Abujar project to grow the current 3 million ounce gold resource and advance feasibility work.
A pre-feasibility study is due next quarter, with this latest program to underpin a definitive feasibility work, with up to six rigs on the ground to complete between 7,000m and 11,000m of drilling a month.
In this latest program, drilling will target new and existing prospects on three parallel corridors.
The company will also drill the Abujar North tenement from GGL to Gamina where large historical artisanal workings have been identified.
Tietto managing director Dr Caigen Wang said he was “excited” to have so many drill targets with “strong potential” to build on the current 3.02Moz resource at Abujar.
“We have our six diamond drill rigs on site, four of which are running currently and two expected to mobilise before year-end.”
He said the program will probably continue through the end of the June quarter next year.
“This drilling capacity allows us to finish 2,500m of geotechnical drilling for our open pit definitive feasibility study as well as 28,000m of infill drilling for mining studies and more than 40,000m for new resource growth and exploration.”
“The unique capacity that Tietto has for exploration and resource drilling with its own diamond drill rigs allows the company to aggressively grow the Abujar gold resource at extremely low drilling costs, while progressing its pre-feasibility and definitive feasibility study work.”
Mr Wang added the company is also working towards securing the last two requisite statutory approvals – the mining licence and mining convention.
Tietto is evaluating the potential of a large-scale open pit operation at Abujar, which is located in West Africa’s Cote d’Ivoire.
To fund its exploration and development plans, Tietto has more than $60 million in cash.
Tietto isn’t alone in Cote d’Ivoire with operators in the region including Endeavour with its Ity and Agbaou mines, Barrick with Tongon and Perseus’ Sissingue operation.
Metallurgical testwork has demonstrated gold recoveries exceeding 98%.
An added advantage for the project is access to infrastructure including the major regional city of Daloa, a tarred highway and low cost grid power.