Centamin aims to add value to the 4 licence areas through exploration and development, in the same way as we have done at Sukari.
The licences are in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia and they are called:
Una Deriam (100% Centamin ownership)
Finarwa (100% Centamin ownership)
Winibo (100% Centamin ownership)
Shehagne (subject to a letter of intent with Stratex)
Una Deriam is the first focus in Ethiopia for Centamin's exploration team. It is a 10km long soil/rock chip gold anomaly and forms part of a major regional structure underlain by granite intrusives. Two previous open hole percussion drill holes reported very high grade intersections (more than 20 grams of gold per tonne) and Centamin will conduct further exploration work at this prospect throughout 2012.
In terms of the other 3 licences, soil sampling conducted by Sheba at Finarwa discovered strong soil anomalies associated with a north-north-east shear zone. Additional soil/rock chip sampling and structural mapping would be required to make this area drill ready, but the earlier results combined with recent artisanal mining activity, makes this licence look prospective.
Sheba's exploration team carried out a small amount of soil sampling at the Winibo licence and their results suggested it is a 4km copper anomaly in a strong alteration zone. A diamond drilling programme at Shehagne had recently been completed by the Sheba team and the licence area is currently being reviewed by Centamin.
Sheba had been operating in Ethiopia since 1999, and the former Chief Executive Officer of Sheba, Henry Atkinson, has now joined Centamin to share his experience of operating in country with us. Centamin has opened a small office in Ethiopia and the infrastructure close to our 4 licence areas is good - mobile telephone and wireless internet coverage, roads, power lines and perennial water all occur within, or very close to, the 4 licence areas.